Disclaimer: I’m not asserting much in the way of original thought in this post, rather summarizing some of the better arguments I have encountered in the recent wake of the tawdry episode of Donald Sterling. Surely some of my few readers have not been exposed to anything other than the mainstream script: crusty NBA team owner spews racist barrage at his girlfriend, and gets banned for life for his crime of hate speech.
Yes, Sterling is a bigot and a racist to boot. And it’s jarring to grasp the concept that his claim to fame in recent years has been as proprietor of a basketball team which, like any other that hopes to be competitive talent-wise, is comprised predominantly of black players. Understandably, the stars on his payroll reacted negatively to the words he spoke privately but were leaked to the public.
But, why is the outrage not arising until 2014? And why is the public destruction of the man predicated on words, and not on the truly deplorable actions Sterling has engaged in for decades, earning the well-deserved appellation of “slum lord”? Have we forgotten the nursery rhyme of our childhood, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, But words will never harm me”? (BTW, according to Wikipedia, that rhyme is attributed to a black Methodist church publication.) It is because, in the so-called modern age, deeds matter less than words.
For that matter, how about the deeds perpetrated by some of the NBA “role models” whose transgressions received far less, and in some cases no, punishment? Let Ben Shapiro remind you of some of the most glaring examples.
Indeed, how about today’s dissolving of any distinction between remarks uttered privately (and intended to remain so) and those issued publicly? In an age where most everyone carries a device capable of recording private conversations—i.e., a phone—one no longer has the presumption of keeping his or her utterances confined to the person to whom they were spoken. (Never mind what the NSA may have stockpiled on you, me, and every other person who speaks or writes!)
So what’s the next frontier for the speech police? It’s a given that the owner of the Orlando team will need some Magic to avoid the blackball, based on his support of an institution (traditional marriage, for centuries a sacrament but now a civil entitlement!) that is out of step with the times, or is it “The Times“?
Yes, the NBA is a privately run league, and it has the prerogative of accepting or banishing individuals without interference from others. But, speaking of interference, along comes corruptocrat politician, and former NBA player, Kevin Johnson. Mr. Johnson, current Mayor of the People’s Republic of Sacramento, inadvertently let his slip show, revealing the motive shared by not a few of ilk when he intoned that “sports provides a place for fundamental change for how our country should think and act.”
I have no doubt that Mr. Johnson and his crowd believe that to be literally true. They also possess the power to enforce those standards by fiat. And if that happens, get ready to be slam dunked.