What up world? This EJ and I’m back with another edition of The Blog About Nothing. As you know I blog about things that are on my mind, but this week’s blog comes from a place of reluctance. While I’ve grown weary of all things Michael Sam and Donald Sterling, I feel the events of the past few weeks, have led me to address just how I feel this week. I really don’t want to though. I don’t. So why am I doing this? Well, as I like to say I never have a problem kicking in my 2 cents, and I do so this week for the advancement of 7poundbag, but as I stated earlier I’m doing so reluctantly. By my own admission, and no one else’s. So, let’s do this.
Michael Sam was drafted last week by the St. Louis Rams. The reigning Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year was drafted in the 7th round, pick number 249 overall. The defensive end fell to the 7th round, despite being the best defensive player in the best conference in college football, because of his tweener size, weight, and lack of foot speed. On the surface, Sam is going to have a difficult time making the Rams roster. Especially considering the team’s strength is on it’s defensive line. However, things with Sam go further than the surface. Shit, I think we all wish it was so easy to discuss Michael Sam. It’s not though. It’s not.
Why? It’s because Sam has become the first openly gay athlete in the National Football League. This was cemented with his draft selection, and further ingrained in our consciousness with him kissing his boyfriend, several times, as well as the smashing of cake in their faces. You see, ESPN elected to show Sam’s reaction to being drafted, although the reaction they aired was on a tape delay. You see, the live feed went down, and what ESPN aired to the audience, they were able to review before airing. They just didn’t though. As I stated when Sam came out to the World, I have no issue with him being an openly gay athlete. I said this because it would be foolish to think that Sam would have been the first gay athlete in football. It’s just that he had the courage to come out while his predecessors chose to live in the closet. I’m fine with all of that. What made me uncomfortable though was ESPN airing his “makeout session”. I just felt that was a bit too much for people to take. That was just throwing it in our faces, and I’m sure some parents had to explain what was going on to their young children who were watching the draft. This was aired at 6:30 on a Saturday afternoon. Yes, you can find worse things on television, but you don’t expect to see something like this while watching a sporting event.
While Sam’s announcement takes him a step out of the sports world, he has to make the team by keeping himself rooted in it. Saturday was not a “you made it” accomplishment. No, making the roster is. That’s the final step. Survive training camp, cut day, and make it to the final 53. Seeing playing time would be an added bonus. Him having one of the top selling jerseys in the League means nothing without making the roster. So, while I cringed on Saturday, I question how the World will really view Michael Sam four months from now if he’s not on an NFL roster. While I tire of him, and the story, I fear it’s only just begun and that reluctantly I will revist it in due time.
There are three men in Los Angeles, who need to learn the value of saying things like “no comment” or just shut up altogether. The surprising thing is that none of these men are Donald Sterling. No. While I believe Sterling can aid his cause by being quiet, the men who I believe need to hush up are: Magic Johnson, Doc Rivers, and Tommy Lasorda. Why? All three men have shown poor judgement in my opinion. Allow me to explain.
For a few weeks now I’ve had issues with Magic Johnson. I consider him a legend on and off the court, but he’s been downright petty the past few weeks. Starting with the his celebratory tweet of Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni’s resignation, “Happy days are here again!”, to his trivial pursuit of defending himself against the rambling old coot that is Donald Sterling, I just don’t understand why Magic can’t get out of his own way. Thankfully, Magic was properly scolded for the tweet by Charles Barkley and others, and it appears that some members of the media are taking him for task for his interview with Anderson Cooper on Tuesday night.
I’m sorry but for Magic Johnson to say that he only wants to focus on basketball, and then run to TMZ and Anderson Cooper is just foolish. I saw the Donald Sterling interview, and you know what I saw: a man that is either faking he has dementia or he really has dementia. Sterling rambled. He said absurd things, and he said things that truly didn’t need to be responded to. Magic should be above all of that and just release a simple press statement that says: my record in the urban community stands for itself. That would have been all. Cased closed.
The second person that needs to learn to say no comment is Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. I respect Doc, but it seems everyday there is a new headline from Doc expressing his views on the Sterling family. I’m sorry but Doc has to learn he can’t respond to everything. By continuing to answer questions about Sterling, he too is taking away from his team’s on the court performance. From the beginning, I felt the head coach should have done more to focus his team on basketball, and less on the controversy. The Clippers almost allowed that distraction to cost them the Warriors series, and it may cost them the Thunder series. I get being upset, but he’s the leader. He has to rally them and get the focus where it matters and not on the trivial. Now would be a good time for Doc to close himself off to the media and keep his and the team’s intention focused on what truly matters: winning.
Finally can Tommy Lasorda please shut the hell up! Tommy Lasorda in an interview with a Florida television station stated that he hopes that Donald Sterling’s mistress, or silly bunny as she refers to herself, gets hit by a car. Ironically enough, V. Stiviano got into a car accident this week, but that is beside the point. Lasorda is an 86 year old coot. The revered Hall of Famer, former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers may be coming to the aid of a friend, but how low do you have to go to pray that the girl gets hit by a car? C’mon son! I’m sorry, c’mon gramps! You just don’t say shit like that. Not that I should care what Lasorda has to say, but if you are going to go public with your views, you have to be classier than that. What he said is something you should think, but never say. I understand Lasorda has a history of being outspoken and at his age, you can’t really teach an old dog new tricks, but he’s got to either shut up or say no comment next time.
Despite my reluctance to even continue with the subject that is Donald Sterling I do have to get this off my chest. I don’t care for the man. I genuinely don’t. I won’t call him a racist because I don’t think he is. What I think he is a misguided man, and a product of his era that promoted the hate speech that he is comfortable with. However, while I don’t care for Donald Sterling, and his interview with Anderson Cooper only re-inforced that feeling for me, I still absolutely disagree with the punishment Commissioner Silver handed down. Why? I can accept the fine and the ban, but I still can’t get onboard with the fact the Board of Governors can enforce a sale of the team. Yes, I understand Sterling was held to something called a “moral clause” but the enforcers of that clause were men who were fully aware of the man they were dealing with. As I stated two weeks ago, when I went in on this topic, I can’t help but point out the hypocrisy of all involved here. Commissioner Silver has been employed by the NBA for over 20 years. The same Deadspin article I quoted 2 weeks ago brought up all of Sterling’s past incidents with racism and many of them were about his team or Clipper players. The article also quoted questionalble things he said in his depositions, and those depositionsare public knowledge. The fact that I can get access to something like this so easy, is why I call all involved hypocrites. Doc Rivers has been a part of the NBA for almost 30 years, and had to have some prior knowledge of who Donald Sterling is. This also goes on to Magic Johnson, and the current players who are speaking out now. I refuse to believe that Silver, Rivers, Johnson, etc… didn’t know who Donald Sterling was. They were more than willing to work with the man, take his money, and look a blind eye. However, now that recordings were released, by a woman who likely baited the man for her own selfish needs, it’s a problem?
I’m sorry but I can’t get onboard with that kind of thinking. The reason why I’m bringing this up, is because I’ve dealt with this subject both personally, and reading articles from some very well edjucated folks that would label me and my stance as wrong. I don’t know why. The Clippers are that man’s property. He owns it and operates it as one of the franchises that makes up the National Basketball Association. When do we take property away from people in the United States? The seizure of business to me just doesn’t feel American. It feels more like the seizure of private enterprise that we see in dictatorships influenced by communism or socialism.
Honestly, I don’t see the issue with leaving the team to Sterling’s wife (who I know is far from perfect herself) or some member of the family. The family is going to sell the team eventually, something I think you can tell if you read between the lines in the Sterling’s interviews, so how about we skip the legal fight, and the dredging of Sterling through the news every damn day and let the process resolve itself naturally and out of the CNN’s and front page news.
That’s it. I’m done. The blog this week was lengthy, but I had to get something off of my chest. Thanks for reading, thanks for supporting www.7poundbag.com and peace.
Tiny URL for this post: