|Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
THE DONALD STERLING SAGA, IN MICHAEL JACKSON SONGS
An NBA owner shown to be a racist bigot, what possibly can be ironic about that situation? Not a lot or… everything? When we’re talking about Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, considering the revelations exposed by his archivist/girlfriend, Vanessa Stiviano, we’re leaning toward everything. And if Michael Jackson were alive today, he could probably assemble an entire album based on Donald Sterling remarks.
Before we get into Jackson, let’s explore a few other ironies. The team is called the Clippers, named after the three-mast sailing ships preferred by early day yacht owners. Before that, the team was called the Buffalo Braves, referring to natives. When you think of it, the team names symbolize minorities, Braves and yacht owners. I can’t think of two more dwindling groups. Another irony, the owner’s name is Sterling, with a reputation not so. Sterling was taken down by his girlfriend/archivist while he knew everything said to her was recorded. Sort of like everything Richard Nixon said was taped by Alexander Butterfield. “I am not a racist” sounds eerily similar to “I am not a crook.” Yeah, Dick and Don, you were.
Explore the Donald Sterling/Vanessa Stiviano phone conversation released on TMZ and you’d think the ghost of Michael Jackson, no stranger to a few scandals himself, might be there guiding the conversation.
On removing black people from her Instagram, but not Matt Kemp, she says “But I’m not sure if he’s Black or White?” Which, that Jackson hit, by the way, Matt Kemp is now using as his bring-up-to-the-plate song. “You think I’m a racist,” Sterling continues. She replies, “I don’t think you’re a racist but you should look at the Man in the Mirror.” Sterling replies “You’re a mental case. You’re really a mental case.” Vanessa comes back with “You Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” Donald laments “Why do you have to be such a fighter? Why do you always want to fight? Why You Wanna Trip on Me?”
Vanessa comes back with “Do you know you have a whole team that’s black, that plays for you?” Sterling idiotically replies “I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses.” He might as well had Jacksoned it with “Here’s some Breaking News. I tell them Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” He then goes on to say “You are an evil heart.” She doesn’t say it out loud, but you know she’s thinking “Oh, yeah, like I’m the bad one. I’m Bad. I’m Bad.”
Sterling probably has his own internal Michael Jackson song title conversation going on, something like “I Like the Way You Love Me. But, but I Can’t Let Her Get Away. She has all these tapes on me. She’s Dangerous. She is Off the Wall crazy. She’s a Pretty Young Thing and wants to be with young men, like that Matt Kemp. I guess that’s Human Nature. Doesn’t she know Matt Kemp is some kind of Smooth Criminal? I guess not. Well, if that’s her thing, I want her to Leave Me Alone. She Drives Me Wild but she probably thinks I’m a Monster. I can’t tell her to Beat It because she knows everything. Everything I have will be Gone Too Soon. ”
Not to be too Michael Jackson about it but it looks like Sterling is being taken down, punished for all his backwards thinking, being hung out to dry… like a baby hanging upside down off a balcony.
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