I guess it’s the getting older, wiser and more patient thing happening. In any event when the whole Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling fiasco broke I admit I was tempted to jump in. But I waited.
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Donald Sterling is a racist and a bigot. His basketball team, unfortunately for him, isn’t the only “court” relationship he has known. He has been a player in the courts of justice and now the court of public opinion.
And all around, he’s a loser.
Switch gears for a moment. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, someone with obvious substance abuse problems, says he is taking a break from his re-election campaign to get help for alcohol issues. CNN.com reports that Ford made that announcement hours after a newspaper reported on a new video that allegedly shows him smoking crack cocaine.
CNN.com says that the video is part “of a package of three videos the dealer said was surreptitiously filmed around 1:15 a.m., and which he says he is now selling for ‘at least six figures,'” according to the Toronto Globe and Mail.
Two people. One is a disgrace to society with his horrific comments and views on women and minorities. The other is someone suffering with a substance abuse problem. The common thread? Both were duped either with video and/or audio now haunting them and sending them into the hall of shame.
Sterling has been banned by the NBA for life. Ford is likely never returning to public office.
I suppose the question is this: what happens to Sterling’s girlfriend who recorded their conversations? And how about the guy who videotaped Ford?
Time has published an opinion piece from former NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who spoke about the whole Sterling affair. I heard Philly sports talk radio reference the article.
Here’s what Jabbar had to say about the recording of Sterling:
“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? Although the impact is similar to Mitt Romney’s comments that were secretly taped, the difference is that Romney was giving a public speech. The making and release of this tape is so sleazy that just listening to it makes me feel like an accomplice to the crime. We didn’t steal the cake but we’re all gorging ourselves on it.”
So what we have is a woman taping a private conversation and a man taping Rob Ford possibly using drugs. How does this stuff happen? Is this what we have sunk to?
Make no mistake, Sterling got what he has deserved for a long time and Ford, well, the man needs help. But aren’t the people doing the tapings just as bad? Perhaps worse? As Jabbar points out, we can’t all cry out about the NSA invading our privacy and then we take on the mob mentality with Sterling and Ford and audio and video recordings? Talk about double standards.
The assumption these days must be to say nothing – to anyone. Let’s face it, if you can’t confide your inner most secrets, opinions, etc., to someone you call your girlfriend – or your alleged drug dealer – then who can you trust? Nothing is sacred anymore. No more secrets. No more private conversations. Everyone has a cell phone with audio and video taping capabilities so you should be careful – at least as private citizens go.
Now let’s be honest and admit that there have been times in our own houses that we have made statements we know never should see the light of day. Sometimes they are made in anger, frustration, but they are made within the confines of our own home – a private area. Well, no more.
I’m glad Sterling is gone. And I wish Ford the best. I hate to see someone’s life ruined by drugs and/or alcohol.
However, Sterling’s mistress and the video-taping drug dealer are no better. They are sleaze looking to cash in. Plain and simple.
– Andy Hachadorian