Regarding the April 27 sports article “Sterling is under fire for inflammatory comments”:
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s apparent behavior is disgusting and outrageous, and he should be ousted from the NBA. He also needs to be thanked. Mr. Sterling’s blistering, bigoted blather has exposed not only his reprehensible personal sociology but also the flawed NBA ownership system, a club so inalienably linked to white privilege that it is just as liable for Mr. Sterling’s racist views as the man himself.
If the NBA wants to take action to prove its commitment to combating racism, it must go beyond enforcing bylaws. Getting rid of Mr. Sterling is an easy and appropriate first step, but it won’t change the culture of the league. The NBA lacks majority owners of color, and it and the NBA Players Association must meet this issue with a full-court press.
Jarrett Maupin, Phoenix
Based on the available evidence, do I believe that Donald Sterling made racially offensive remarks? Yes. Do I believe that free speech is a fundamentally important value? Yes. Do I believe that offensive speech made in a private conversation should be treated differently than publicly conveyed hate speech? Yes.
American society would be best served not by forcing Mr. Sterling to sell his basketball franchise but rather by encouraging him, through continuous protests by fans, players, coaches and the media, to sell. Thereafter, he can seek redemption. This situation can become a teachable moment in race relations. Let’s not lose that opportunity by needlessly constraining free speech.
John Parry, Silver Spring
Last week, the Supreme Court struck a blow against affirmative action, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor bravely retorted that the justices in the majority would “wish away” “the racial inequality that exists in our society.” Then Donald Sterling and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy made headlines with racist remarks about African Americans. I wonder what the myopic justices have to say now.
Mary Ann Parrish, Philadelphia
The alleged comments of Donald Sterling give Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder the perfect opportunity to stand up and show some racial sensitivity. Mr. Snyder could recognize the power of words and change the name of his franchise. He could take steps toward building good will with sovereign nations of native peoples in the United States and honor our troops by renaming the team “Warriors.”
Eileen McClure Nelson, Clifton