Amid the fallout from the swirling firestorm that is the Donald Sterling controversy -- or should I say, the most recent one -- NBA players, owners and the commissioner have come out and decried the bigoted comments that are alleged to have been said by Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
And now, Michael Jordan, the most famous man to ever play the game, the biggest ambassador the NBA has ever had, and current Charlotte Bobcats majority owner has made a statement, denouncing the remarks, calling them "sickening and offensive."
I look at this from two perspectives - as a current owner and a former player. As an owner, I'm obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I'm confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly. As a former player, I'm completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA - or anywhere else - for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level.
In audio first obtained by TMZ, and later extrapolated upon in further acquired audio by Deadspin, the man said to be Sterling made inflammatory remarks following his girlfriend's posting a photo of her and Magic Johnson to Instagram.
"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people," the man identified as Sterling says. "Why publicize it and why bring it to my games?" In the extended Deadspin audio, he very clearly drops some knowledge about his institutionalized racism, which has a history of its own, too.
V: Do you know that you have a whole team that's black, that plays for you?
DS: You just, do I know? I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? Do I know that I have-Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?
He maintains that he's not racist, just that he's living in a culture and blah blah blah, yeah, it's just super ignorant. You can peruse it for yourself in the links above if you want.
This is just the most recent disgusting story surrounding Sterling, who has had plenty of them in his past, including housing discrimination and plenty of other stories about being an all-around terrible person, but it's also been the one with the most publicity and thus the most galvanizing. Even President Obama addressed the comments.
The NBA is investigating them in their desire for due process to not step on any litigious toes if they can avoid them, so Adam Silver will wait to make any decision. But it is a very good indication to finally see some owners stand up for their beliefs even in the face of a long-standing colleague for once to come down on bigotry and putrid ignorance.