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Jerryd Bayless on Donald Sterling: “I wouldn’t put on that jersey”

 

Last night, news broke that Donald Sterling — horrifically racist slumlord and also owner of the Los Angeles Clippers — told his girlfriend he didn’t want her hanging out with black people publicly after she posted a photo of herself on Instagram with Magic Johnson.

Much smarter minds than my own have much sharper takes on the subject, but one of the more interesting developments thus far has been Jerryd Bayless, who took to Twitter to voice his opinion.

For whatever reason, the NBA has allowed Sterling to own a team this long, but in recent years — as the Clippers have become a relevant franchise and Sterling has been more in the public spotlight — there has been a stronger push for him to be ousted as owner. This isn’t a new battle, but it’s an important one, and these comments surfacing during the playoffs (and overshadowing a great series) remind us of what we’ve known for a long time: Sterling is not a good human being, and it’s really not good for the league to have a team owned by such a noted racist.

Calling out owners can be a touchy subject in NBA circles, however. During David Stern’s reign, owners were held in such high regard (since they paid many of the bills) that any kind of criticism might have been met with fines and reprimands. That may be different under Adam Silver, but it’s entirely too early to tell.

That’s why it’s pretty awesome that Bayless was willing to speak up, and it’s equally awesome that he was willing to call for such drastic action. The Clippers are locked in a playoff battle with the Golden State Warriors — arguably the most compelling first round series and a massive moneymaker for the NBA. It would be an enormous, far-reaching decision if the players decided to take a stand, not just because of the money the NBA would lose from such a protest but also from the attention it would bring to an awful human being who has been allowed to be around the NBA to this point. As far as we know, Bayless doesn’t have any particular connection to the Clippers’ locker room, but just expressing his support for such action shows solidarity and might be encouraging to any Clipper player wondering whether such a protest is worth the trouble.

Would Bayless actually refuse to put on a jersey for Donald Sterling? Maybe, maybe not. It’s the playoffs, and anyone who refused to suit up for a playoff game would undoubtedly take some heat from fans who think players should just shut up and accept their millions. But the fact that Bayless is willing to call for action without worrying about any repercussions from the NBA is both noteworthy and admirable.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

  • hax

    I think Olbermann’s idea of not playing in protest was silly. These guys work their whole lives and this is the closest they’ve gotten to reacing their dreams. Really gonna give that up for an ignorant racist owner you never talk to anyways?

    That said, freedom of speech. It sounded pretty weird, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was drunk when he typed it.

  • Sophomore

    Doc’s comments were about the same as Hax’s. The players have been dreaming about this since they were kids, and they’ve worked very, very hard to get where they are. They don’t need to let a jackass like Sterling ruin it for them. It’s up to the league to fix this.

    • Sophomore

      Looks like the players (and probably Doc) are more creative than we are.

      • hax

        Will be raised up as a heroic stand against evil by the media, and continue to distract from the playoffs. :(

  • check12check

    I just couldn’t believe his comments. There were a few points where he like one step away from saying ‘if you let these Negroes come to basketball games, soon they will start thinking they are real people.” Today’s world just has no place for a bigot like Sterling.

    I would be really disappointed in the league if nothing is done about it. I know in the past they have pandered to owners pretty intensely, but the league needs to realize A. that it is not ok to be affiliated with such an individual and B. doing nothing about it will impact revenues.
    The comments made were so insidious that people will not soon forget them, and let’s just be honest: a whole lot of the viewership for the NBA IS MINORITIES!!! I can’t find super solid numbers on this, but pretty much every piece of information I find is about in the same ballpark and suggests that black people make up just shy of half of the overall viewers for the NBA. Also, I’m certain other minorities make up a large percentage too. These people are not going to want to support a team with an owner like Sterling. Moreover, the majority of white people, such as myself, want nothing to do with racist scum like Sterling. If this guy comes back next year, I’m not going to say my days of watching the NBA are over, but my days of watching clippers games sure are. If the league won’t do something about it quickly, let’s make sure the league knows that the people will not support an owner such as this.

    Kudos to Bayless. I’d love to see a flood of players voice their opinion. Hell, if the league won’t step in now, I’d love to see a player’s strike this summer forcing the league to do something. I think the comments made by Bayless are perfectly within his rights to say this, and great for him for having the courage to do so.

    • Janos

      when draft nba is

  • TMC

    I think what Bayless was referring to with the “putting on the Clippers jersey” thing is that he wouldn’t sign with them as long as Sterling is the owner. He won’t be the last player to say that. The Clippers won’t sign another marquee free agent that will sign with them for YEARS if he is still owner.

    Don’t give the players s*** if they continue to play this playoffs or through the rest of their contracts. They are still professionals and employees. The ones that need to protest are fans & sponsors. If fans should boycott games and sponsors tear up their contracts, the NBA will force him to sell faster than glen davis can clean out a buffet.

  • hax

    Barkley said there was no place for Sterling in their black league.
    Then some no-name knicks ‘legend’ said they should -make an all black league-
    Racism toward whites = fine, no issues here
    baited, illegally taped phone call with racism toward blacks= ignore playoffs, let’s talk about this 24/7.
    #doublestandard

    • Joe

      I dont see why a white male really can get mad about racism towards white people though. Regardless of a double standard, being a white male in the USA, you have the ability to do anything you want. Not many people can say that. It’s a tough argument when we live in a country where people like Columbus are celebrated. Look at our education system. First we learn Columbus was a hero, then later on we learn that he was a murderer. Realistically he murdered, raped, and pillaged.

      Even the word “race”. It is used to make somebody less than human. Im part of the human race. By attributing the word race to somebodies ethnicity or skin color is like saying somebody is less of a human than somebody else. People see different cultures and fear them. Its very unfortunate.

      “Man so stupid, when confronted by something he don’t understand, he shoots it, the whole worlds polluted.”

    • StaticFunctions

      Part of the impact of racism is that one group has power over the other, so their discrimination ends up having a greater impact. The recording isn’t illegal because its not being brought into court. Also, Sterling isn’t being punished just because of this. He has a history that warrants this punishment. Frankly, its appalling that nobody made a bigger fuss over him sooner.

      Also, the playoffs are not being ignored, Charles Barkley is not a racist, and there is no comparison between his remarks and Sterling’s remarks.

  • Joe

    They should have new jerseys made without the clippers names on them for the rest of the playoffs.

    • Joe

      I dont see why a white male really can get mad about racism towards white people though. Regardless of a double standard, being a white male in the USA, you have the ability to do anything you want. Not many people can say that. It’s a tough argument when we live in a country where people like Columbus are celebrated. Look at our education system. First we learn Columbus was a hero, then later on we learn that he was a murderer. Realistically he murdered, raped, and pillaged.

      Even the word “race”. It is used to make somebody less than human. Im part of the human race. By attributing the word race to somebodies ethnicity or skin color is like saying somebody is less of a human than somebody else. People see different cultures and fear them. Its very unfortunate.

      “Man so stupid, when confronted by something he don’t understand, he shoots it, the whole worlds polluted.”

  • hax

    The Hawks are on the verge of history and nobody knows because we’re too busy banning a guy who has nothing to do with basketball anyways. :/

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