Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The NBA Commissioner has spoken!

Sterling's girfriend and Sterling at a Clipper's game.

Finally, the NBA Commissioner has spoken out on the Donald Sterling matter of his racist comments and rant.

The NBA Commissioner has confirmed that it definitely was Sterling's voice on the tape.  He stated Sterling's comments were initially shared in private, but these views were made public and they are presently Sterling's views.  The commissioner said no other views by Sterling or his family were spoken to the commissioner.

The commissioner personally apologized to former NBA players, Chuck Cooper, Bill Russell, and Magic Johnson.

The NBA Commissioner leveled the following discipline to Sterling:

  • A lifetime ban from the NBA.  He is banned from attending any practices or games with the LA Clippers or any other NBA teams.  He cannot enter into any player or personnel decisions.  He is banned from all NBA league activities.
  • A fine of $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed by the NBA.  The money will be donated by the NBA to anti-discrimination groups and groups promoting tolerance in the world.
  • Ownership of the team - the commissioner will urge the NBA board of governors to force the sale of the Clippers and the commissioner will do everything in his power to see this happens.  The urging of the process of sale will begin immediately.

The NBA Commissioner stated unequivocally that Sterling's views have no place in the NBA.   He  stated a David Anders immediately investigated the situation by talking to many involved in the situation.  The commissioner said that Sterling acknowledged to him that it was his voice (Sterling's) on the tape.

Finally, there is justice for the LA Clippers' players.

Copyright (c) 2014  Suzannah Wolf Walker   all rights reserved

Monday, April 28, 2014

Tornadoes across America begin the week or 4/28


Tornadoes, both literal and figurative, are sweeping the country this morning. 

 First, powerful tornadoes have hit Arkansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma early this morning and have leveled homes and cities in its path.  These intense storms have owners rumbling through piles of shattered home and destruction to see what they can recover.

Also, hit by these intense storms are Nebraska and Missouri, but Arkansas has been hit the worst.  There are sixteen dead in three states, Arkansas, Iowa and Oklahoma and more than one hundred have been hospitalized in Arkansas.

This is tornado season in the mid-west of America and people living here have learned over the years to take cover when the siren shrills.  Many saved their lives by running to shelters as soon as they heard the tornado siren.  

But, when will we learn as a nation to build hurricane proof homes in these tornado alley states?  It is far too long we have gone with residents here losing their homes and all their possessions from these horrible storms and tornadoes.  

It is time for state legislatures and federal laws to stipulate that hurricane proof homes be built, and only hurricane proof homes be built in these areas.  How many spring times do we have to have a repeat of the destruction these tornadoes affect in the same states each year?  

And, building hurricane proof homes should be affordable enough so that all residents can have them built and/or rebuilt.  No residents should quake in fear of tornadoes and of loosing all that they have and own.  Of course, the important thing is that these residents are alive.  But, what about the ones who died as a result of the tornadoes?  They should not have died in vain.

Rep. Michael Grimm (R) of Staten Island, New York

Finally, Michael Grimm(R), Representative of Staten Island, New York in the House of Representatives, has been taken into custody by the Federal government with a 20 count indictment.  He is accused of allegedly committing fraud, obstructing justice, evading taxes and breaking campaign finance laws to name just a few.

Of course, he claims he is innocent of all charges.  Several months ago, he was videoed and recorded by a journalist covering the House of Representatives of threatening to "throw the journalist over the balcony (of the House of Representatives) if he asked him for a comment ever again."

This action was reprehensible enough and I thought he should have been taken into custody then for threatening the life of a journalist who was just doing his job.  I think that power and money have gone to the head of some of these politicians and they think they are God, deciding who they talk to and don't talk to and threatening to kill those that don't "toe the line," or they simply don't like.

This is the problem we have in this country.  We are being governed by politicians who think they are elite and can do and say anything they like when dealing with the less powerful in this country.  

When are the people of the U.S. going to stand up and say, Enough!?

Don Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers and his girlfriend (on the left)

And, the most reprehensible tornado of all coming across America is the racist comments attributed allegedly to NBA franchise owner, Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers.

He has only proved that racism is alive and well in this nation; a sad commentary on the state of our nation.  These alleged comments were released by TMZ who had obtained the tape Sterling's girlfriend made of their recent conversation.  

Sterling's girlfriend, of mixed race, had her picture taken with basketball great, Magic Johnson, and Sterling was opposed to the photo and her publicly posing with Johnson at one of the Clipper games.

Not only is that sad enough, but he went on to say that although he has "given houses, salaries and cars," to his African-American players, he does not like them, he doesn't want his girlfriend associating with them in public, and they are not worthy of his attention.

First, his African-American players EARN those houses, salaries and cars, by practicing and playing basketball during the basketball season.  Out of season, they condition, do charity work, and work with underprivileged children serving as role models for them.

Sterling's intolerance and ignorance in this day and age is staggering.  I don't know what the NBA Commissioner is waiting for to begin an investigation and confirm that this is Sterling speaking on the tape.

Sterling is Jewish, and considering the Holocaust of WWII, he should be one person to understand discrimination, prejudice and racism first hand.  To have such little regard for his players is disgusting.

Kudos to the LA Clipper team for their silent protest of turning their shirts inside out and playing their game without the logo showing.  This statement showed dignity and class and is a protest I applaud.  

I realize the players have a code of conduct written into  their contract with their owner.  Now a code of conduct for the owners is needed, also, to be written into their contract.

I am saddened, too, for the insult Sterling heaved at Magic Johnson.  Johnson, one of the greats of the NBA, and all he has done for basketball and education about AIDS, is to be applauded also.  I would stand and have my picture taken with Magic Johnson anytime, if given the opportunity, and I would be proud of it.

Thank you, LeBron James, for also speaking out against Sterling and his racist remarks.  May these great basketball players urge the NBA Commissioner to reprimand and discipline Sterling.

Until we become tolerant and accepting of all people here in the U.S., our country will continue to struggle in the throes of immaturity and the black stain of racism.  We will be no better than the oligarchs that run the Russian Federation.  

Bullying and racism must be stopped no matter whether it occurs in our homes, ours schools, or our sports arenas.