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“Where’s the Outrage over Secretly Recording Sterling?” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
(Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

While not saying what Clippers owner Donald Sterling said was ok, or not racist,  NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar makes some excellent points.

Abdul- Jabbar, reports the website,  had some sharp things to say about the process of how the Donald Sterling ban-for-life came down.

He blames Sterling for what he calls “old school” bigotry, which can be verified by previous legal issues related to racism outside the league.   However, Abdul-Jabbar also blames the league for not putting an end to his buffoonery years ago; instead of waiting until Sterling’s girlfriend worked him like a tool on the recording – serving it up easily for the league to come down hard.   Sterling had plenty of annoying encounters with the NBA, starting with moving the team from San Diego to L.A. without permission.   But they put up with it until now.

  And the NBA legend reserved some of his harshest criticism for Vivian Stiviano, the girlfriend whose lawyers claim was “not responsible” for the hour-long recording ending up in the hands of a dubious tabloid website.  Here are some of Abdul-Jabbar’s comments about how the whole thing went down: (some of his language is rather graphic).

“…And now the poor guy’s girlfriend (undoubtedly ex-girlfriend now) is on tape cajoling him into revealing his racism. Man, what a winding road she led him down to get all of that out. She was like a sexy nanny playing “pin the fried chicken on the Sambo.” She blindfolded him and spun him around until he was just blathering all sorts of incoherent racist sound bites that had the news media peeing themselves with glee.

Shouldn’t we be equally angered by the fact that his private, intimate conversation was taped and then leaked to the media? Didn’t we just call to task the NSA for intruding into American citizen’s privacy in such an un-American way?”

Abdul-Jabbar makes perhaps the most sensible points about this whole sordid affair.  He and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, while not excusing Sterling’s previous and current views,  point out we “have the freedom to be morons.”

Cuban points out:

“If it’s about racism and we’re ready to kick people out of the league, OK? Then what about homophobia? What about somebody who doesn’t like a particular religion. What about somebody who’s anti-semitic What about a xenophobe?”

This is the big elephant in the room that is being ignored in this whole sad affair.   And what we also find lacking is further investigation of Stiviano.   She is being sued for $1.8 million by Sterling’s estranged wife for alleged gifts he gave her since their affair began in 2010.  She had vowed to get even, according to reports from Clipper Nation ( From the official statement released early on the the Clippers organization about the recording and it’s source:

(Ms Stiviano)..”is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would “get even.”

And as we said earlier, the only confirmation or claim we have that the tape is genuine comes from the NBA’s own lawyers.  Perhaps that ties into Abdul-Jabbar’s comments that the NBA was all to eager to blast away this controversial owner from their ranks.



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