Racism in Sports

Donald+Sterling+with+girlfriend+V.+Stiviano+%28left%29+at+a+Los+Angeles+Clippers+Game.
Donald Sterling with girlfriend V. Stiviano (left) at a Los Angeles Clippers Game.

Donald Sterling with girlfriend V. Stiviano (left) at a Los Angeles Clippers Game.

Mark J. Terrill

Mark J. Terrill

Donald Sterling with girlfriend V. Stiviano (left) at a Los Angeles Clippers Game.

Maneesha Dhanda, Writer

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The idea of ethnocentrism has been present within many different groups of people for many years and unfortunately it is still prominent today. Racism is an issue that many deal with on a day-to-day basis. However, many incidents go unnoticed due to the fact that society has grown to accept the problem of racism even more. Racism can be displayed on many different levels, whether it be calling someone derogatory names or committing violent hate crimes. Recently, there have been incidents involving racism in both the NBA and the NHL and both incidents display the ignorance people still have towards others of a different race.

 

On April 29th 2014, four days after Donald Sterling made racist comments that were brought to attention by TMZ, he was banned from the NBA. The conflict started when Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, told his girlfriend V. Stiviano, who is of half-black half-Latino descent, not to bring black people to his games or share pictures on social media that show her with a black man. The man he was referring to was Magic Johnson. Sterling has been the owner of the Clippers franchise for thirty-three seasons, one of the longest-serving franchise owners in NBA history and under his thirty-three years of ownership, he’s had multiple black basketball players on his roster, such as Chris Paul, Lamar Odom and DeAndre Jordan. Sterling’s comments caused a huge uproar from fans, members of the NBA and sponsors of the Los Angeles Clippers. Many sponsors, such as State Farm Insurance, Mercedes-Benz, Redbull and Kia Motors cut their financial ties with the Clippers as a result of Sterling’s comments. Along with being banned from the NBA organization, Sterling now has to pay a $2.5 million dollar fine and he may also have to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.

 

On May 1st 2014, P.K. Subban scored the game-winning goal in double overtime during the Montreal Canadians and Boston Bruins second round playoff opener. After the game, Bruins fan took to Twitter to express their rage over Subban’s goal with racist tweets. The word “n*gger” even began to trend on Twitter in Boston after the game as over 17,000 tweets used that word. The Boston Bruins also have black players on their team including Jarome Iginla and P.K. Subban’s own brother, Malcolm Subban, who is on the Bruin’s “farm team”. Shortly after this incident, the president of the Boston Bruins issued a statement claiming that the tweets were “expressed by an ignorant group of individuals” and “are in no way a reflection of anyone associated with the Bruins organization.”

 

Just two days after Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA due to racist comments, Bruins fans found the need to slam P.K. Subban with derogatory comments after his game-winning goal. These events both occurring in less than a week, show the disgusting attitude that people still have towards coloured people. With the amount of diversity all over the world, people would have thought by the year 2014 that racism wouldn’t be as much as an issue as it is. Unfortunately, racism and ethnocentrism are still serious issues, and there are no signs that this will slow down anytime soon.

 

 

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