Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Don't tell people how to protest

This is a departure from my usual lighthearted material; I'll get back to that in my next post.  This is about the Donald Sterling situation with the LA Clippers and what he got caught saying on tape.  Actually, it's more about the reactions his players have had so far and the absolute stupidity that has articulated been by so many other people about those reactions.  These are just my opinions, and stupid might be a bit harsh, but....whatever.  In case you haven't been following it, the Clipper players tossed their warmup jackets on the floor at midcourt and wore their Clipper T-shirts inside out so that the Clipper logo wasn't showing.  They also wore black socks, armbands, and wristbands.  Players from some other teams have followed suit. Several current and former players have spoken out against Sterling and have gone as far as to say that Sterling should no longer be an owner, including Lebron James.  And apparently that isn't a sufficient display of outrage for some people.  The only true form of protest is for the players to stop playing, to shut down the playoffs until Sterling is bounced.  Please......just stop already.  In just three days, we've had the following:

  • Several owners have already spoken out against Sterling including Dan GIlbert, he of the comic sans email rant the night of Lebron's Decision to go to Miami, and Michael Jordan, who notriously never speaks up about anything.
  • The President of the United States has weighed in on the issue.
  • Several sponsors have already bailed on the Clippers
The wheels are already turning here.  Sterling won't be around long, one way or the other.  The only question is how he will exit.  And yet, some people want the players to walk off the job as if that's going to expedite things.  Please understand that if they just walk off, they will be in breach of contract.  Sterling will sue them for breach of contract, and will tie them up in court for God knows how long.  Their current contract will likely be voided.  And you better believe that he will file some kind of injunction that prevents them from playing for another team until the matter is settled.  So they will have no income AND be saddled with all kinds of court costs, lawyer fees, etc.  They could lose at least a season of their career dealing with all of that; they could end up bankrupt as a result.  So you want them to take that kind of risk so you can good and say 'yeah, they stuck it to that racist Sterling!'.

That has got to be one of the stupidest things I ever heard.

This is not Ali protesting Vietnam, or Jim Brown, Bill Russell and those guys making the stands that they took back in the 1950s and 1960s.  This isn't a stand for people to have basic rights in society.  This isn't a fight to get these players the right to play in the league, or to get paid what what players at their level are making, or to have opportunities in coaching and management when they are no longer playing.  This is a protest about who should be allowed to own a team and get to pay Chris Paul over $10 million a year.  That's it.  To ask any of these players to take the risks that I mentioned above over that is ludicrous. Especially since this is nowhere near the worst thing Sterling has said or done.  Sterling's history as a racist slumlord is documented, and nobody asked for the players to walk out on their games over that.  So please, just stop it already.

This is the age of the Keyboard Revolutionary, the moron who pontificates from their iPad or iPhone or PC about what somebody else should do in response to some issue.  They want whoever the President is at the time to just do stuff without any regard for Congress.  They want every celebrity they pay attention to make public proclamations on every issue they deem important in a way that they approve of.  Even with the normal things I blog about, comics and wrestling, there's a segment of people watching who are constantly demanding that the writers make stories that they approve of.  To ask someone to walk into a bonfire for your satisfaction, when you have no means or intent of helping them when they get burned, is the height of stupidity and selfishness.  It's not their responsibility to make a point the way you want them to.  And for those who mention John Carlos and Tommie Smith as examples of dissent and protest.....they protested from the medal stand after participating, not from the locker room.  Get your story straight, will you?

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