Another Sterling situation

May. 13, 2014 @ 03:36 PM

We’ve got a problem when the prevailing thought after Anderson Cooper’s CNN interview with Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling regarded the whereabouts of the old man’s publicist.

Folks are trying to have it both ways, the same folks who claim they’d rather deal with Archie Bunker-types than closet bigots.

Yet when Sterling revealed who he is outside of the context of a secret recording, you’re telling me the concern is that his image consultants left him hanging?

During the interview with Cooper, Sterling wrongly talked about “those AIDS” Magic Johnson has.

But what are we to make of Sterling’s critique of wealthy black people who presumably don’t do enough to help their race? I mean, I’ve certainly heard that conversation among black people. No doubt, Magic Johnson could point out that black people need to step up and do more, and everybody would be OK with that.  That’s unfortunate. That’s a double standard.

Folks claim they want the truth. They claim they want to know what athletes and entertainers believe about this and that.

Michael Jordan certainly got grief for not lending his voice to the issues. But perhaps Jordan, always several steps ahead as a basketball player, knew what the deal was.

The Miami Dolphins recently fined one of its football players for expressing his displeasure with Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend on national TV after the St. Louis Rams picked him in the seventh round of the NFL draft on Saturday.

Sam is the first openly gay player to get drafted by an NFL team.

There is less and less room in America for honest expression, no seat in our living rooms for Archie Bunker, who, obviously, must remain in the closet while others come out.

All of this explains why Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” song caught on like it did, because we’re a society of people who would rather feel good about hanging out with those who we assume are decent as opposed to actually knowing we’re dealing with devils.

Let me tell you why Sterling wasn't kicked out of the NBA a long time ago despite his racist baggage. It's the same reason why Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, arrested today on suspicion of domestic violence, has still been making plays in the NFL despite all of the talk now about his questionable character over the years. 

#ImageIsEverything.

— John McCann is on Twitter at @johntmccann, or email him at jmccann@heraldsun.com.