/O. D.‘s Rant

O. D.‘s Rant

Hoop and Racism

Donald Lierman
Staff Writer

Reality bites. The truth is hard to take. Yet we must admit that racism will probably be with humans until we can turn off the DNA strand that governs flight or fight which in either case generates fear. Fear leads to judgment; judgment easily can descend to bigotry.
Yeah. Yeah. What does this have to do with the Sacramento owner, his mistress, and his own rant?
Donald Sterling lives in a different world than most of us. He does not have to fear being out on the street or even hunger. What do the ultra rich fear most? It appears loss of power or image or what they already possess. His alleged girlfriend, V. Stiviano, released tapes that shocked many in the country.
Why? The mega rich are a class apart. They want. They get. They get what they want the way they want it or they cry, cry, baby, as Janis Joplin used to sing. It appears Ms. Stiviano cannot by controlled like Sterling’s other yes folks.
The result? Another story for the nightly news. Like most scandals, this one will be forgotten in six or seven months. However, the response of the world is still justified.
SC4 Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach Dale Vos finds Sterling’s comments point to a reality that delves much deeper into the national psyche.
“The comments made by LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling were not about sports,” said Vos. “They are about how human beings treat other human beings. I don’t believe it makes any difference that he owns an NBA team where a high percentage of the players are African American.
“This is a societal issue not a sports issue. I am always shocked to find out people with these feelings and beliefs still exist in America. The civil war was 150 years ago and the major civil rights movement was about 50 years ago.
“I guess it just shows that humans are human and therefore flawed. I was glad that the NBA commissioner took swift action, but I also think Torii Hunter had it right when he said ‘I will not forget this, but I will forgive him’,” Vos said.
O.D. remembers an old pop song that asks, “why can’t we be friends?” Of course, O.D. also remembers the JFK, MLK, and RFK assassinations and the reactions against change that span the history of our great nation.
Maybe we have such turmoil because we are bucking the odds of the human nature. Democracies and republics are not static but dynamic. This causes friction and friction will always breed a negative response from those who feel they have something to lose.
That resulting current of reaction gets passed down through generations. Whether it’s Ukraine or the Middle East, ignorance and greed always drag mankind down.
What does this have to do with sports? Everything. The playing fields of competitive gusto breed a unity and a team esprit which can be translated into actions off the field where we realize we are all in it together.
Perhaps we don’t need compulsory military service but compulsory sports participation, by which I mean learning to work together as a team.
Or maybe we should just remind ourselves each day what the Big Guy said all those years ago: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” And all things shall follow from this.
Go Skips!