Racist comments from Clippers owner sparks debate

5/6/14

BY JACOB TROXELL

News Editor

Racist remarks toward African-Americans made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling got him banned for life from the National Basketball Association last week, and have stirred up the opinions of many about where racism is in today’s culture.

An audio recording of Sterling and his girlfriend was released by TMZ and included the Clippers owner telling his girlfriend that he was upset over a photo she posted on Instagram, which pictured her and NBA Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson at a Clippers game.

“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people,” Sterling said in the recording. “Do you have to?”

Last week was also Salisbury University’s 19th annual Multicultural Festival Week where campus community members expressed what motivates them in life. Numerous performances were held and the president’s diversity awards were presented to different SU students, faculty and staff.

NBA players and many others have shared their opinions since Sterling was banned for life, and some people feel that Sterling’s comments are an example of how racism is still present in today’s society.

“It surprised me that a man in the NBA of all sports would say that,” said sophomore Brian Kragler. “I was very relieved that he was forced to sell the team and I agree with the NBA’s decision to ban him for life. Racism has always been here and will always be here.”

Some SU students say they have even witnessed racism themselves.

“I’ve dealt with racism and most of it has been since I’ve been at Salisbury,” senior Robb White said. “People are accepting the fact that they are supposed to accept everybody, but they are not accepting everyone. The minute (someone) doesn’t accept one person they stereotype them, and begin believing the stereotype applies to everyone like them, letting racism grow.”

Before NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Sterling’s Punishment, rumors circulated that the Golden State Warriors were going to boycott game 5 of their playoff series against the Clippers.

“If it were me I would have a very hard time stepping on the court and making money for a man that had little respect for me and my teammates,” said sophomore Will Drozdoski. “Racism is still alive today, but far more prevalent in our parents’ generation than our own. We as a society certainly are not at the point where Americans treat one another solely by their actions, instead of their ethnicity. But I feel that Salisbury students do a better job of treating each other equally than many other Americans.

While some areas in the United States have one sided populations, the city of Salisbury consists of a 55 percent white population, 32 percent African-American, seven percent Hispanic and four percent Asian. Although SU’s Multicultural Festival was last week, some students would also like to have events dedicated to all races uniting as one even more often.

“In order to limit racism I feel that first we as a society need to stop associating stereotypes with people before getting to know one another,” said sophomore Chris Hook. “Maybe (SU can) have a racism awareness week (also) and promote togetherness between races and show everyone that even though we are diverse we are still one.”

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