Banned for Life



JUNE 12, 2014.  “Banned for life” were the words of Adam Silver to the LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling after very racial remarks. Is it true that the NBA handles racism better than our own U.S Justice system? Even within a sport dominated by African-Americans, it is still surprising how racism can still surround it. It’s clear that racism will always be an issue in the world but we are getting better at handling those people who put their racism out there to know that racism will not be tolerated.

Since the Sterling comments dropped, Adam Silver showed that racism will not be tolerated. Within three days he made his announcement on the ban on Donald Sterling from any basketball game for life and a very large fine. Since the life time ban, NBA players and owners have tried to make him sell the team. Even NBA fans have spoken their minds about it by making signs like “I brought a Black guy to the game with me.” Even celebrities who love the game of basketball say they will never attend another LA Clippers game as long as he is still the owner of the team. Kobe Bryant stated that he couldn’t play for Donald Sterling.

It’s crazy how racism can still be alive in a sport that is dominated by blacks. Even in the NFL last year WR Riley Cooper was fined for his racial comment. Some people think that wasn’t a harsh enough punishment. People thought he should have been suspended for some games but will the comments of his teammates behind him help lessen his punishment? As we have seen with incidents of racism in the past none of them have been handled as well as by the NBA.

As for our U.S Justice system, people see it as unfair. “The biggest crime in the U.S criminal justice system is that it is a race-based institution where African-Americans are directly targeted and punished in a much more aggressive way than white people.”( “The police stop Blacks and Latinos at rates that are much higher than whites.” There have been multiple cases when this has occurred. Michael Vick, QB of the New York Jets, was arrested in August of 2007 for dog fights. White supremacist, George Zimmerman, saw no jail time after shooting and killing young African-American, Trayvon Martin.

What we can do as a society to end racism as a whole is raise our kids to like all the color of all the people all round the world. Most people think that people are not born racist but are raised that way. Don’t just have a conversation with people who look like you—branch out. There are people with the same interest as you. It has been proven that the NBA and other sports organizations have deal with racism with racism better than our U.S justice system. We can see racism will always live in the back of people’s minds.

I still wonder will racism ever go away. It’s clear that we, as a society, are trying to get rid of this in our world today. We have made our voices heard when injustice has been done. In the sports world, racism will not be tolerated but the real question is, can we make that the same for our U.S justice system? We just have to find out and see.   

Vaughn Handon is a graduating senior at the Academies at Anacostia.