Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Taking one for the team.

The Original Clippers Fan

Okay, I'll bite.

I haven't really known what to say about that super-unfortunate private-turned-public conversation capturing these offensive and odd statements from the Clippers Owner, Don Sterling. I have a lot of thoughts but they all just sort of run together. I guess I'll say them quickly because this topic is salient and is worth talking about.

I don't like what he said. I don't really think I felt deeply offended, though, until he made the references to clothing and housing the blacks employed by him. The rest of it mostly sounded stupid and like it wasn't meant for our ears. Clearly the man is ignorant. As is this woman for putting up with him even for two seconds. Look: I'm old enough to realize that there are people all over the place that would take issue with a key person in their life being photographed on social media with groups of people of whom they do not approve. Or that they allegedly approve of but the others in their world don't approve of. For Donald Sterling, that group was black people. Or "the minorities" as his lady friend called them. Whatever. And some folks don't care about stuff like that at all. But a lot do.

It might be wrong and ignorant and deplorable but it is what it is.

With part of her Season Ticket crew. Their hashtag is #blackandyellow (Not joking)

Look. I'm just saying that if some mom somewhere is mad because her daughter is on Facebook with a group of hippie dudes while in college and says something about it because the other moms in her tennis club are giving her grief, is that kind of the same?

Maybe. Maybe not.

I don't know. I just know that a lot of folks say and think a lot of things that aren't meant for my ears. I heard someone say this: "What would you be banned from if your private conversations were made public?" 

Okay. I guess I'm kind of proud to say that I don't think I'd be banned from anywhere. But that's beside the point.

Her man had to become a fan as a part of the courtship.

Now. Despite all THAT, I am not excusing him. Because we DID hear it and it IS public. And more than likely we never heard the worst of it. If this chick was able to record him -- and knew to record him -- she also must have known for certain that he'd say some off the wall crap worth pressing record for. Hello? This means to me that this dude is likely saying all kinds of stuff about "the minorities." Matter of fact, he's been noted to say a few not-so-nice words about black people before. 

Mmm hmmmm.

I mean, I personally see myself as a delicate woman even if he doesn't think my persuasion can be. Heh.

The main thing:

How much does this suck for the Clippers--and their fans? These dudes have put in work, man. Work. Talk about going from zeroes to heroes. And this? Now? Just. . . damn.

She has warm and cold weather Clipper gear.

My sister, JoLai, is one of the original Clipper fans. I'm dead serious. She's been a season ticket holder for 13+ years and bought them way back when half of L.A. wasn't even sure who they were. I think I even asked if they were a hockey team back then.


Why yes, that IS Chris Paul next to her.

But seriously. JoLai bought those season tickets back when they were buy one ticket get twenty five free. Plus free parking. And a guaranteed t-shirt out of the air gun thingie. She has been down from the start. And is a HUGE fan of this team.


Imagine her devastation when this happened. Her team has finally started to get some shine and this bulljive comes out? Dude. Those players are like her family now. And trust me, she was literally heart broken. Someone wise said something like this about her:  It's like paying and planning for a huge party and finding out that you can't go like two days before. Or worse--you got locked out of the venue.


Oh and before I forget. JoLai is such a HUGE and LEGIT Clipper Nation member that she was the epicenter of an article in the Los Angeles Times yesterday--specifically about her perspective as an African-American season ticket holder in this hot mess of a situation. It's a great article. Read it here. It tells it far better than I can.

What you know about a Clippers manicure?

Funny. When I tried to find the article, I saw that JoLai has been mentioned in the L.A. Times as a Clipper fan several times. Even as far back as 2001 when I still thought they were a hockey team. Ha! Now if that ain't legit you tell me what is?

I guess a part of me is mourning her loss in all of this. It's like watching someone train over a decade for the Boston Marathon and seeing them trip, fall and get knocked unconscious on mile 25. Even if you weren't the one running, it stills sucks.

Got pajama pants?

Okay. So . . . . I haven't drawn any hard lines in the sand. I do still think human beings are mostly good and don't want this to be seen as some evidence that all white people really hate us. I don't believe that. I just don't. Instead, I think some people are ignorant and products of environmental small mindedness. Which is sad but also their mental block.

You know what?

I also think this is one of those things that I would have been fine to never, ever know about. Kind of like the person who comes and confesses to her husband that she cheated on him sixteen years ago. I mean, I'm sure some good race relations discussions will come from it, but honestly? I just don't want to be in a world where inner thoughts are being made outer thoughts. I don't want them shoved in my face or stuffed down my throat. If you look at me and think "ignorant black person" or "person beneath me" -- please. Keep it in your head and on your dark, cold heart. Spare me. I mean it.

I can also pass on the selfies of Geraldo Rivera. But that's a whole 'nother hot mess and besides the point.

Sorry for the ramble. I just kind of don't know what to do with this. I seriously don't. And I wish we could just sort of turn back time and let the Clippers have their moment in the spotlight without being pummeled by tomatoes.

JoLai? I'm sorry you had to take one for the team. And even sorrier that, for you, it involved more than just your favorite basketball one.

That's all I got. 

Happy Wednesday. And shout out to my delicate sister Darlene JoLai aka the original Clippers fan.


  1. You know, for me, there has been no controversy. The dude said horrible, racist things and he is an absolute idiot because those guys whom he obviously has no respect for because of the color of their skin are the ones making him the big bucks and he deserves exactly what he got yesterday PLUS the disdain and shame and every other thing that springs forth from his racism.
    He deserves it all, not because of some karmetic blah-blah but because he said all that stuff.
    But then, I've never thought about what a true fan of the Clippers should do. I just thought- oh well, go support the team you love because they're the reason you go. Right?
    But yeah, Jolai is right.
    It would be wrong to be giving money to that guy.
    It's all a bad old cluster-f**k but you know what? I thought just this very morning that eventually, all of the old guard who are so very racist and homophobic and whatever are dying. Not to say that racism and so forth won't live on in the human species because ignorance never dies.
    But. At least it is, as time passes, becoming more and more obvious that if you ARE a racist idiot, it's really best not to express those thoughts where anyone can possibly overhear and record. And those moments are becoming almost impossible to find.
    So keep it to yourself, a**hole, ignorant racists.
    Or something like that.
    Sorry to be so wordy. I guess I had more to say than I thought.

  2. Last night I watched 42 about Jackie Robinson and the night before that I watched 12 years a slave. I am going to keep thinking about those wonderful movies and that owner of the

    baseball team and the man that rescued Soloman instead of giving one second of thought to that other guy...too much time and energy is spent on the bad guys and not enough on the good guys...

  3. It's been 4 of the craziest days I've gone through in a while. Emotions all over the place, but I'm glad things are in motion to get us an owner who actually cares about basketball & the team!

    I'm guilty of kinda knowing about Sterling's racist past, and I am not proud of that. But at this point, if this nonsense is what it took to break the dam? I'm okay with that.

    Thanks for the post, and please cheer my Clippers on to VICTORY!!!
    One team. One goal. It's time!

    Biz, Clipper Nation, Member since 2001

  4. Oh, my gosh! The great Bill Plashke wrote about your sister, and I saw it and didn't put two and two together. I am so sorry to hear of her anguish and hope that she is able to separate the asshole from those players and that team and the game she loves to watch. I'm with you on the inner and outer thoughts, too.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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