This week the world learned that NBA’s LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling didn’t care too much for Black people via a recorded conversation with him and his half Black half Mexican girlfriend. A good friend of mine and I had a lively discussion on Facebook about what should be done about this issue.  It reads as below.

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My suggestion of a player boycott was met with less than favorable responses. It should be stated that aside from boxing and non-American soccer broadcasts, I could care less about sports. I’m well aware that most athletes have to sign contracts detailing behavior and personal governance in the public eye as well as in some aspects of their personal life. Violation of these covenants generally result in suspensions and fines. But what are the rules governing ownership? I image that as the owner of a team is not subject to the same sanctions that a player is by virtue of their position. A player is an employee. What exactly would an acceptable remedy for this situation, an apology?   “Ok. I’ll let you niggas visit my home and I promise to take a selfie with you.” An apology would most likely be and be seen as disingenuous.

Boycotts have been an effective tool in the quest for political change for decades. As our apathy increased in the past 2 decades, the are used less frequently. To my surprise they players and the Coach of the Clippers considered doing just that.

I wondered what would cause them to not go through with it fully. Many say that it’s because they had worked hard to get where they are and shouldn’t have to sacrifice a chance to be a champion. While this may be true, I pondered another reality regarding athletes. The LA Clippers nor any other team could enact a boycott for fear that they may be committing financial suicide.

Tallahassee Boycott articles
The documentary ‘Broke‘ aired this weekend on ESPN. Director Billy Corben‘s film recants numerous tales of athletes who went from riches-to-rags. I learned the shocking statistic that 60% of NBA players experience bankruptcy or some other financial calamity within 5 years of retirement. Armed with this knowledge it came clear that a boycott from this group would be a difficult prospect. They are, by virtue, prisoners of their career; not truly free to move from or against it without experiencing major changes in their lifestyle. And this frightens them.

Courtesy of ESPN

I can’t say that I’m surprised by the events over this weekend. White-Supremacy/Racism is a political and social force that’s been around for the greater part of five centuries, permeating all aspects of people activity across the planet. Its primary method of proliferation is fear. Logical intelligent white Germans were manipulated by fear to allow the Jews to be massacred. There is also a fear that  raging against this force would be harmful and with  good reason. White-Supremacist/racists are violent, crazy, and methodical. Look at what happened during the US Civil Rights movement. They will retaliate and people will lose lives, this is unavoidable.  My guess is that Donald Sterling isn’t the only NBA team owner nor billionaire who holds these opinions. The challenge we must all take is the suppression of our fear of white-supremacy/racism and engage in active campaigns against such people by not supporting anything they do socially nor economically and doing it without fear. Otherwise the fear becomes the chains by which we all remain enslaved.