Sports

Kareem, on Donald Sterling: 'Shouldn't we be equally angered by the fact that his private, intimate conversation was taped and then leaked to the media?'

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Yes, Kareem coached the Candy Man. |||

One person I've been waiting to hear from during the fascinating Donald Sterling controversy is basketball legend, former teammate of the slurred Magic Johnson, and former employee of Sterling himself, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Kareem, author of multiple books that at least touch on the history of America's troubled racial history, is also a prickly sonofagun, and I mean that in the best way.

Kareem's Sterling piece for Time is an entertaining read, regardless of whether you agree with his conclusions. Using the power of selective quotation, you could use some of Abdul-Jabbar's formulations as the basis for a Sterling defense, or at least a righteous plea for contextualization:

Moral outrage is exhausting. And dangerous. The whole country has gotten a severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome from the newest popular sport of Extreme Finger Wagging. Not to mention the neck strain from Olympic tryouts for Morally Superior Head Shaking. All over the latest in a long line of rich white celebrities to come out of the racist closet. […]

It's not the size of the shorts…. |||

[N]ow the poor guy's girlfriend (undoubtedly ex-girlfriend now) is on tape cajoling him into revealing his racism. Man, what a winding road she led him down to get all of that out. She was like a sexy nanny playing "pin the fried chicken on the Sambo." She blindfolded him and spun him around until he was just blathering all sorts of incoherent racist sound bites that had the news media peeing themselves with glee.

They caught big game on a slow news day, so they put his head on a pike, dubbed him Lord of the Flies, and danced around him whooping. […]

Shouldn't we be equally angered by the fact that his private, intimate conversation was taped and then leaked to the media? Didn't we just call to task the NSA for intruding into American citizen's privacy in such an un-American way? Although the impact is similar to Mitt Romney's comments that were secretly taped, the difference is that Romney was giving a public speech. The making and release of this tape is so sleazy that just listening to it makes me feel like an accomplice to the crime. We didn't steal the cake but we're all gorging ourselves on it.

But if you think Kareem's letting off the Clippers owner easy, read on:

I don't blame them. I'm doing some whooping right now. Racists deserve to be paraded around the modern town square of the television screen so that the rest of us who believe in the American ideals of equality can be reminded that racism is still a disease that we haven't yet licked.

What bothers me about this whole Donald Sterling affair isn't just his racism. I'm bothered that everyone acts as if it's a huge surprise. Now there's all this dramatic and very public rending of clothing about whether they should keep their expensive Clippers season tickets. Really? All this other stuff I listed above [about Sterling being sued multiple times for racial discrimination] has been going on for years and this ridiculous conversation with his girlfriend is what puts you over the edge? That's the smoking gun?

He was discriminating against black and Hispanic families for years, preventing them from getting housing. It was public record. We did nothing. Suddenly he says he doesn't want his girlfriend posing with Magic Johnson on Instagram and we bring out the torches and rope. Shouldn't we have all called for his resignation back then?

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  1. Remember how quickly Joe the Plumber’s intimate details and medical records found their way into the media?

    1. You mean when it was discovered that he was a 30K plumber masquerading as a big-time capitalist?

      1. a 30K plumber

        I’d like his number for the next time I have a plumbing problem.

      2. You mean when it was discovered that he was a 30K plumber masquerading as a big-time capitalist?

        This doesn’t compute, all us libertarians are big-time capitalists because we’re all titans of industry. To be a $30k guy and be for capitalism is to be against your own self interest!

      3. How dare he work for a better life for him and his family!!!

  2. Thank God for the sickle cell….

    /Animal Mother

    1. You talk the talk.

      1. I’ll skip the foreplay….

  3. He was discriminating against black and Hispanic families for years, preventing them from getting housing. It was public record. We did nothing.

    That was too hard to put into a 160 character tweet.

  4. I think you’re confusing Kareem with well-known pilot Roger Murdock.

    1. He’s been hearing that crap since he was at UCLA!

    2. Roger, Roger.

      1. You have the vector, Victor.

        1. Actually, that should have been, “You have clearance, Clarence.” Or else, “What’s the vector, Victor?”

          1. Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop snifffing glue.

    3. Whatever happened to Lew Alcindor? I thought he could have had an ok NBA career.

  5. Also, shorter Kareem: “This whole court is out of order!”

  6. You know, this piece might get Kareem that coaching job he has always wanted. Glad he didn’t burn it on his Staples Center statue.

  7. racism is still a disease that we haven’t yet licked

    And as long as the Democrats can get a political advantage by playing the card, it never will be licked. I mean, the race card is all they have. And they’re going to keep that dying horse on life support, forever.

    1. And when the horse dies, they will beat it.

  8. Oh, look everyone! Shriek is here! It’s Shriek! Everybody – Shriek! Here to enlighten and entertain with an absolute, unending failure to grasp any part of any argument!

    Shriek, everybody! I give you – Shriek!

    1. Shriek, everybody! I give you – Shriek!

      You can’t even pay us to take him.

      1. They should rename all the Weird People circus acts as Shriek Shows. It works.

  9. Tell the perpetually outraged to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.

    1. Bob Lanier – Piston hero of my youth. Even when he went to the Bucks (maybe to replace Kareem? It’s all so foggy now).

      What a nice man Big Bob is.

      Anyhoo…

      /fanboi

    2. +1 Airplane?

  10. Not many skin pitchers of sugar-baby V. out there, is there…?

    1. this is where revenge porn comes in handy

    2. Pull them up on Google. You’ll find it difficult to not instinctively reach for a newspaper to roll up when you see her.

  11. I’ll take Kareem over Barkley on this one.

  12. I saw some headline that Amtrak had withdrawn its support for the Clippers over these comments, to which my immediate reaction was what the hell is taxpayer-funded Amtrak doing supporting the Clippers in the first place? On the topic of misplaced outrage…

  13. Kareem’s spot on about the recording being morally worse than some dudes private racist thoughts or comments. The guy could be a weeny, hes a big business big shot, im sure he has to be. But now if they fire him, terrorism wins.

    Is there going to be a “have you no decency” moment in one of these ‘celebrity says “the n-word” witch hunts that might eventually curbs the excesses of our zeal to purge our own white guilt?

  14. I was raised in a non-racist environment. Never even thought much about skin color.

    But I read. A lot. And one statistic that sticks is that blacks are 13% of the population and commit 51% of all murders in America.

    That’s altered how I look at black culture – and blacks.

    Is it racism to recognize that the average black is three times more likely to commit murder than any other group? Can you know such a fact and not reason to other questions? For example, what percentage of burglaries are committed by blacks? What percentage of welfare payments? Is it “racist” to ask those questions? Is it “racist” to think about the answers? Is it “racist” for those answers to affect your reasoning and interactions with others?

    Does being non-racist mean you ignore reality?

    1. “non-racist” is a non-sequitur.

      Either you are a racist, or you aren’t.

    2. I was raised in a non-racist environment.

      Does being non-racist mean you ignore reality?

      Sounds like you’re pretty directly saying you’re wondering if you were raised in an environment largely ignorant of reality?

      And I think that question pretty much answers itself.

  15. Kareem has always stirred up controversy, even when trying to say the “right things.” Abdul-Jabar has never minced words, was always kinda ornery and short with the media, thus, he’s become almost non-existent after his playing days. Sadly.

    We discussed this recently with some sports broadcasters. It coincides w this post. I’d love your take on it. Here’s the link: http://traffic.libsyn.com/beat…..28-1_1.mp3

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