November 4, 2009, - 4:32 pm
**** SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATE ****
Three sports stories in the news today make you wonder why there’s no outcry about them beyond the sports pages, the way there was with Rush Limbaugh’s attempt to become a minority NFL owner.
No Rush Limbaugh Treatment for Them . . .
Donald Sterling, Tom Cable, Gus Johnson
I mean, Rush was never a slum lord who redlined against Blacks, Hispanics, and kids. Nor was he a man who beat multiple wives and women he dated. Nor did he say that Black NFL players ran fast “like they were running from the police.”
But these respective guys did these things, and there’s no outcry from anyone beyond the sports media, major league sports, the Reverends Jesse and Al, or players unions. Gee I wonder why:
* Donald Sterling: The Los Angeles Clippers owner agreed to pay a record $2.73 million to settle a Justice Department case alleging he tried to keep Blacks, Hispanics, and people with kids out of his apartment buildings in Koreatown, in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Oh, and this is the second such lawsuit he’s settled in four years. (He’s also admitted to paying for sex.) Hmmm . . . Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are strangely silent. Why? No complaints from the Black-dominated NBA Players Assocation. Why? I’m guessing Sterling is not exactly a conservative.
* Tom Cable: The Oakland Raiders head coach isn’t just 2-6, this season. He admitted he hit his first wife. An ESPN report alleged that he abused several women with whom he had past relationships. And in August, Oakland Raiders assistant coach Randy Hanson suffered a broken jaw, which he says was the result of a Cable assault on him. So, I guess you can’t own an NFL team if you once questioned the press’ adulation of quarterback Donovan McNabb. But if you beat women and men, the NFL loves ya.
* Gus Johnson: During Sunday’s Jacksonville Jaguars-Tennessee Titans NFL game broadcast, the CBS announcer said that running back Chris Johnson, who is Black, had “gettin’-away-from-the-cops-speed.” No outcry, though. Not from Jackson. Not from Sharpton. Not from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Not from NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith. Why the silence? It’s okay to imply that Blacks can run fast because they’re criminals running from cops, but not okay to question past affirmative action promotion of a Black quarterback based–at the time–solely on race?
For the record, Johnson is Black, so he gets a free pass on saying this stuff. If a White guy said it, I bet we’d all be served with heaping helpings of outrage, like the absurd outrage over Rush’s far more benign comments about McNabb.
So, to sum up: You can discriminate against Blacks, Hispanics, and kids and keep them from renting your property; you can beat women (and men and cause injuries); you can accuse Blacks of having speed they’ve developed from running from the cops and imply they’re criminals; and you can get away with all of these without a hair out of place or nary an outcry.
But if you’re a conservative, well, then . . . it’s the crime of the century.
**** UPDATE: A reader and friend writes, and it seems like perhaps I have it wrong on Donald Sterling. He notes:
I don’t know much about Sterling’s politics, but I suspect they’re not so liberal. Sterling is one of the Sunday Los Angeles Times’ largest display ad buyers, reliably in there every week with at least two, sometimes more, half- or full-page ads devoted to something related to Israel. To the degree that Reverends Al and Jesse aren’t clamoring about him, it may be because he’s so low on the food chain, or because they’re already getting paid off. Former NBA great Elgin Baylor was general manager of the Clippers for 22 (I think) completely undistinguished years, then was replaced by (incredibly untalented) coach Mike Dunleavy, and filed suit against Sterling for racism. When I read about his lawsuit I immediately thought of the man who sued a radio station for not hiring him as an announcer “because I’m J-J-J-J-Jewish.”
As for the suit that Sterling agreed to settle, it was apparently based on some allegedly scientific survey conducted by people who likely had a predetermined outcome in mind: that blacks and Latinos inhabited his apartments at disproportionately low occupancy rates in…KOREAtown. By the way, Sterling also owns some of the most expensive apartments in some of the most expensive areas, as well as condos.
Tags: abuse, announcer, CBS, Chris Johnson, discrimination, Donald Sterling, double standards, ESPN, Fair Housing Act, gettin' away from the cops speed, getting away from the cops speed, Gus Johnson, Jacksonville Jaguars, L.A. Clippers, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NFL, Oakland Raiders, physical abuse, Racism, Randy Hanson, Roger Goodell, running back, Rush Limbaugh, Tennessee Titans, Tom Cable