Now that Donald Sterling has finally appeared to apologize to CNN (who else?) what is our take away from this entire debacle?
This is not to suggest it is over. Far from it. The next stage in this drama will be what the NBA owners do; whether to vote to remove Sterling as an owner, and his wife Shelly who has vowed to fight for her share of the team.
In watching Sterling talk to Anderson Cooper, one can’t help but feel sorry for the man. So smart in business, yet so stupid in interpersonal relationships. Not to mention the horrible feelings he harbors. Even as he pleads for forgiveness, he trashes Magic Johnson. Why? What possible good can come from continuing to attack a Los Angeles icon? I have worked with Johnson’s foundation and had meetings in his office. I don’t know what Magic Johnson Sterling knows. Certainly not the one I worked with.
The obvious lesson here is that racism needs to end and perhaps this is a lesson for everyone who harbors those views. The next lesson is in this information age everybody needs to be aware that what they say can end up on the internet. But for most people the internet isn’t interested in what they say. It is for those in positions of influence and power.
Donald Sterling has spent years and millions of dollars promoting himself and his good works. He has given millions to charities and at the same time millions to make sure everybody knows it. His frequent advertisements in the Los Angeles Times touting his charitable giving has always been curious. Anybody who knows how ads are designed and placed knows that the charities weren’t placing the ads to show gratitude. It was Sterling. He wanted nothing more than to buy a good name and the goodwill of the people of Los Angeles.
And in one idiotic conversation it all came crashing down.