When private opinions become public scandals

Haley Daniels, Staff Writer and Ad manager

When the most recent scandal broke involving the racist comments of Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, many questioned whether his atrocious comments against African-Americans were enough to have him both banned for life from all NBA games and forcing him to have to sell his team.

Clippers Owner Donald Sterling sitting next to rumored mistress V. Stiviano. Photo Courtesy of MCT Campus
Clippers Owner Donald Sterling sitting next to rumored mistress V. Stiviano. Photo Courtesy of MCT Campus.

Both sides of this argument definitely make some interesting points. On one side, Sterling is entitled to his own opinion and was unknowingly being recorded by who most assume to be his mistress, V. Stiviano. He has reportedly given her four expensive cars, paid for her $1 million condo and handed over several thousands of dollars for “living expenses,” yet she claims that he was just a father figure to her. Not to get sidetracked, but if she is trying to stay out of the public eye, maybe going on a painfully awkward interview for Barbara Walters was not the best idea.


People in L.A. protesting the Los Angeles Clippers. Photo Courtesy of MCT Campus
People in L.A. protesting the Los Angeles Clippers. Photo Courtesy of MCT Campus.


On the other side, Sterling’s commentary was hateful, unacceptable as well as unfavorable which reflects the Clippers as a whole. The irony of this whole situation, which many have pointed out, is that the majority of the NBA teams and staff are made up of African American males. Who knew that professional sports might not be the best investment for closet racists?

No matter what opinion one might have on this issue, no one should be shocked. Sterling is 80 years old, and let’s face it: Older people tend to be set in their ways and close-minded, or as some like to call it, “old-fashioned.” Need some examples? Phil Robertson from the A&E reality empire “Duck Dynasty” took a lot of heat for an interview he did with GQ magazine at the very beginning of this year. In this interview, he talked about how strong his faith is which led to him implying how much of a sin homosexuality is. Robertson, a southern man in his late 60s, definitely has strong opinions. No one was caught off guard by his opinion, but many were offended and demanded that he face the consequences. A&E had temporarily suspended him off the hit reality show until they realized how many supporters of Phil Robertson were out there. Long story short, Phil and the whole family are still making episodes and “Duck Dynasty” continues to be the most popular show on A&E.

One person who did not get off that easy was Paula Deen. When Deen was in the midst of a lawsuit about a year ago from a former restaurant manager for both racial and sexual harassment, she was accused of using the N-word. She admitted to this, but only this, in her deposition. The media spread like wildfire causing Deen to lose many business deals and having her retail lines dropped from major cooking companies and department stores. She has made a slight comeback since, but it will still take a while for her to fully recover from the incident that destroyed her reputation.

By now there isn’t a single person that should be surprised by racism in modern America. Everyone definitely should be entitled to their own opinions, but when they have a lot of money or are in the spotlight for any reason whatsoever, they should be a little more careful about what they say and whom they say it to. On top of everything else, technology has advanced considerably, and people can always record or take pictures at any given moment, legally or illegally. Besides being a more accepting and open-minded person, there isn’t a right answer in this situation except for people using a little more common sense to begin with!

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