What to Take Away from the Donald Sterling Scandal

By: Gina Mason

It is very disheartening that in 2014, racism is still a major issue in our society. Despite the progress that we have made, we still have not been able to completely purge the hate and ignorance of judging others based on race, religion or sexual orientation from humanity.

On Friday, we witnessed a despicable example of hatred and racism in the sports world when the NBA was rocked by a huge scandal that involved LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling. Sterling was recorded making racist remarks about African Americans and it was later revealed that he was notorious for making similar derogatory comments. This offense received a tremendous amount of attention and made people question why Sterling had never faced any repercussions for his ignorant words and if there is a larger issue of racism within basketball.

Despite the scandal, I believe that there is a silver lining to this situation and that we as a society can benefit from his abhorrent actions. Here are a few positive things that I think we can take away from this scandal:

Awareness

There is no denying that Donald Sterling’s remarks garnered a huge amount of media attention and gave people something to talk about. Sterling’s actions had a “shock and awe” factor that generated a discussion about his stupidity and most importantly, the existence of racism today. Even though this scandal was a negative situation, the dialogue of racism spawned greater awareness for the issue and made us all more cognizant that racism is still prevalent within sports as well as our culture.

Unity

In times of adversity people come together and we saw that this scandal not only unified the players in the NBA, but also some of America’s biggest influencers. Following the release of the tape, we witnessed the players (both current and retired), coaches and front office personnel from around the NBA create a united front against Donald Sterling and racism within the sport.  Those actions also spurred politicians, celebrities and influencers to get behind the cause to voice their disdain for Sterling and his actions. All of the people who spoke out against Sterling aided in spreading the message that these actions will not be tolerated in sports or our society. 

Zero Tolerance

I believe one of the most important things that we can take away from this scandal is the zero tolerance statement that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made against racism. By banning Sterling, he sent a message that goes beyond the confines of the NBA and set an example that such actions will not be tolerated in sports, business or our society. I think that children in America can learn from this and will realize that hatred or discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated under any circumstance.

In a world of negativity and hate, I do believe that we can learn from situations like this and grow as a society. There are so many people who follow professional sports and I believe that this has sent a strong message against racism to people around the world.

What did you think of the scandal? What did you take away from the situation? Do you feel that there will be a positive outcome from these negative actions?

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.  

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