Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Sterling GF, Media 'Caught' Him

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Former Los Angeles Lakers star and former Clippers assistant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, wrote an op-ed column for Time.com about his take on the Donald Sterling scandal.

Abdul-Jabbar said while Clippers owner Sterling – who was banned from the NBA for life – should have been held accountable years ago for his bigotry, blame for this latest incident should be shared with the media and his girlfriend, who he contends duped him into revealing his bigotry in an audio recording.

"And now the poor guy’s girlfriend (undoubtedly ex-girlfriend now) is on tape cajoling him into revealing his racism," said Abdul-Jabbar. "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.

"They caught big game on a slow news day, so they put his head on a pike, dubbed him Lord of the Flies, and danced around him whooping," he said. "I don’t blame them. I’m doing some whooping right now."

Abdul-Jabber conveyed his relief that Sterling was finally called out, but says evidence of his racism goes way back and should have been exposed long ago.

"He was discriminating against black and Hispanic families for years, preventing them from getting housing," Abdul-Jabbar says. "It was public record. We did nothing. Suddenly he says he doesn’t want his girlfriend posing with Magic Johnson on Instagram and we bring out the torches and rope. Shouldn’t we have all called for his resignation back then?"

After the news broke Monday about Sterling's lifelong ban, Abdul-Jabar told reporters that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver handled the incident "the right way."

In his column, Abdul-Jabber says the Sterling scandal should be a point of inspiration to fight against racism in America.

"Racists deserve to be paraded around the modern town square of the television screen so that the rest of us who believe in the American ideals of equality can be reminded that racism is still a disease that we haven’t yet licked," he says. "What bothers me about this whole Donald Sterling affair isn’t just his racism. I’m bothered that everyone acts as if it’s a huge surprise.

"Let’s use this tawdry incident to remind ourselves of the old saying: 'Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.' Instead of being content to punish Sterling and go back to sleep, we need to be inspired to vigilantly seek out, expose, and eliminate racism at its first signs," he added.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Pam Wright

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