What bothers you about black people

Racism in the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers : Donald Sterling: "You can sleep with black people, but ..."

The racist words that Donald Sterling, the owner of the US basketball team Los Angeles Clippers, said on the phone to his young friend Vanessa Stiviano excited the US public. The phone call lasted less than ten minutes, but it should be the subject of social discussion all the longer. One of the key phrases is: “You can sleep with black people, you can bring them with you, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask of you is that you do not present it publicly. ”And further:“ It really bothers me a lot that you deal with black people. ”

Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball club from the US NBA, is said to have said what is strange enough in itself. Too bad for the 80-year-old that a recording of the conversation was published on Saturday on the gossip page "TMZ.com". In it, the audibly angry club owner reproaches his love playmate Vanessa Stiviano. The young woman with the splashed lips and other inflated body parts had posted a picture on the Internet a few days earlier, on which she can be seen during a game of the Clippers with the dark-skinned NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson. "I would like you not to bring them to my games," explains Donald Sterling in the telephone conversation. You, the blacks, in general. And him, "Magic" Johnson, in particular.

Here is the phone conversation between Donald Sterling and Vanessa Stiviano in the original with subtitles

Since then, a debate has been going on that has caught up with US sport over and over again in recent years. It's about everyday racism, discrimination and of course the role of rich entrepreneurs like Donald Sterling. Even President Barack Obama spoke up from his business trip from Kuala Lumpur. Sterling's remarks were "incredibly racially offensive," said Obama. "If ignorant people want to flaunt their ignorance, you don't have to do anything but let them talk," added the president. Active players also expressed their indignation. "There's no place for Sterling in the NBA," said LeBron James, currently the best player in the league.

Vanessa Stiviano, Donald Sterling's young friend, has African American roots herself

The case is particularly absurd for two reasons: On the one hand, the NBA is deeply rooted in Afro-American culture, although blacks have only been allowed to play in the strongest basketball league in the world since 1950. Today, however, around three quarters of all players are dark-skinned, apart from Dirk Nowitzki and very few other exceptions, there are hardly any superstars in the NBA without African American roots. On the other hand, Sterling himself takes his racist stance ad absurdum - because his lover Vanessa Stiviano, who, alongside his wife Rochelle, coexists more or less peacefully as mistress at the Sterling court, herself has Afro-American and Mexican roots. In the said conversation recording, Stiviano asks her lover: "Do you want me to hate black people?" Sterling's response: "I want you to love her - privately."

Donald Sterling had been racist in the past

Donald Sterling is not a first-time offender, on the contrary. In the past decades he has repeatedly expressed himself racist. The son of Jewish emigrants, born in Chicago in 1933, rose to become one of the largest real estate moguls in the country in the 80s. Today, with a fortune of 1.9 billion US dollars estimated by the business magazine “Forbes”, he owns more than half of all apartments in the country posh Beverly Hills. And it is precisely in this role as a real estate agent that he has become conspicuous several times with idiosyncratic views. “I don't rent to Hispanics because they just smoke, drink and hang out in the building,” Sterling once said. Or also: “Black house dwellers smell and attract vermin.” As a result of these statements, the US government sued Sterling because he followed his words with deeds and refused to rent apartments to minorities. In 2009 the dispute ended in a settlement, Sterling paid a ridiculous fine of $ 2.73 million by his standards.

This time, the billionaire should not get away so easily, there is consensus on that. The Los Angeles Clippers team has since considered not playing in the play-off game against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday (after this issue went to press) because of the statements made by their club owner. After a 45-minute meeting, however, the team around the black superstar Chris Paul decided against this step. But Paul announced consequences in his role as president of the players' union: "This is a very serious topic that we will tackle aggressively," he told the New York Times.

This time Donald Sterling is not going to get away easily

Sterling has already come under fire several times because over the years, despite his exorbitant wealth, he has consistently resisted investing in the Clippers squad, and there has been talk of dumping wages for players' salaries. This is another reason why the Clippers were chronically unsuccessful, while city rivals Los Angeles Lakers won one championship after another. These allegations are Sterling's least problem at the moment. NBA league boss Adam Silver announced "quick investigations" in this case. Silver did not want to comment on potential sanctions.

"Magic" Johnson has already drawn conclusions from Sterling's behavior, he announced them via the short message service Twitter: "I will never go to a Clippers game again while Donald Sterling is the owner."

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