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No, Sir Charles, It Isn't a Black League; It's a Black Players' Association

In all the comments on sports shows about the alleged racist comments of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (and yes, even old racists are entitled to due process, so until they're authenticated, they are "alleged" comments), the one that caught my attention the most was from Charles Barkley, AKA Sir Charles.  In making the argument that, if the remarks were indeed Sterling's then he shouldn't be allowed to keep his franchise, Sir Charles argued, "It's a black league."

Well, actually, Sir Charles, it isn't.  The players' association may be black, but the NBA is not a black league.  It is a majority white-owned league with a majority of black players.

A couple of things also stood out to me.  I don't think that Sterling just woke up the other day in bed with his partially black girlfriend and became a racist.  If indeed he was sued twice for housing racial discrimination while he was the owner of the Clippers, why didn't the league question his ethics and morals then?  Even better -- doesn't anyone find it the least bit troubling that he's still married and has a girlfriend?  Last I checked, married is married -- until you're divorced, you're not single.  If Sterling is doing the humpty dance with his partially black girlfriend, isn't that adultery?  Oh, but no, that's just a man thing, easily overlooked by a male-dominated sport.

Anyhoo, back to my point.  The NBA is not a black league.  If it were, the majority of the owners would be black.  Instead, it is a white league with a majority of black employees, er, players.  This raises the question:  If, as Sir Charles asserts, over 70 percent of the league's players are black, why haven't they all gotten together and pooled their money to actually own more teams?  Why haven't they played for equity stakes in their teams?  I would think that if that 70 percent got together and decided that 70 percent of the owners were going to be black or there would be no NBA, there'd be a sea change.  Hell, what would happen if that 70 percent played to the end of their contracts, all walked away at once, and started their own damn league?

But no, instead, black players have not kicked down the door to majority black ownership using their own resources and market power.  And guess what?  When you don't own shit, you can't control shit.  Sterling might be fined or suspended, but I doubt that he'll lose his franchise.  Why?

Because there are probably more than a few NBA franchise owners who have said comments they'd just as soon the public not hear and are thinking, "There but for the grace of God . . . ."

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