Glasses Malone And Murs Respond To The Clippers’ Donald Sterling
Commissioner Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million, which will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the players, and will urge the board of Governors to force Sterling to sell the team. This is the story that is sweeping the nation and is casting a dark cloud over the NBA Playoffs. XXL spoke to two L.A. MCs, Glasses Malone and Murs, to get their take on the Sterling controversy and what happens next. —Emmanuel C.M.
Glasses MaloneXXL: What was your initial reaction?
Man, it just got worse and worse. I’m not surprised, because Baron Davis, a couple of people...you've seen the story about Elgin Baylor. You've seen little stuff; he owns a lot of property in L.A., Donald Sterling, and you hear about the slumlord suits and how he treats people. It’s not a surprise. My issue is just actually hearing it. It’s a difference when you hear story about slavery, then you get to hear it yourself. It's the equivalent to a slave master, [hearing] how he used to treat his slaves, [then] you get to hear it from the horse's mouth. It's crazy, its real, it’s happening.
I would have not played [if I was a player]. Honestly, I feel that would have sent the message that needed to be sent. All African-Americans shouldn’t have played yesterday. I just feel like people don’t do anything until they are forced. Especially people of power, people of that class, they needed to be forced. If a player gets into a fight in a game on Monday, he’s suspended by Wednesday’s game. They didn’t even give this guy an indefinite suspension while they reviewed [the tape], they just asked him not to come to the game. Maybe that’s against protocol but the issue is very severe. Right now, the way I feel... Riley Cooper, that guy is getting just a suspension for the things that he said, and DeSean Jackson allegedly being a part of a gang—Riley Cooper gets an extension. They can still do us the same way. It’s really happening.
I would not record [if a label executive said that]; it’s no bueno. I’m not, like, pro-revolution. But as a man there are certain things you should stand for, [and] you have to take a stand. I don’t know what’s the regulation of the rules; I doubt it would be within regulation of the rules to take his team. We’re talking about different owners who are in an association together. I’m sure they all knew who he was before.
MursXXL: What was your initial reaction?
Being from L.A., I heard a lot of negative things from Donald Sterling growing up, and it wasn’t completely surprising. I also know the troubles. A lot of people of color had trouble getting into ownership in professional sports. So I always assumed there ware some type of racism at that level in the game. It took Michael Jordan so long, it took Bob Johnson just to get involved, and there is nobody in the NFL or MLB [who is a franchise owner]. Older white men all come from a pre-Civil Rights America. I don’t think those teachings they learn as children or young adults just disappear when they get money. They probably get reinforced, more reassured and less cultured as they got older. I guess I wasn’t surprised.
Man, I don’t know [what I would have done]. Their shoes are so much different from a rapper's shoes; I’m paid to express my thoughts, not paid to play basketball. I haven’t been working towards one goal my whole life, and then one asshole says something [and] I’m supposed to throw that all out the window. I come from an area, too—and that could be my ignorance—but I assumed that they're all racist to begin with. Why quit now? I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure that he’s not the only one who feels that way; he’s just the only one who got caught.
I was reading Homeboy Sandman's article and what he’s saying is if everybody is not ready to be down, then I don’t think anyone should expect the Los Angeles Clippers to throw away their season. But it would be amazing to me, and really inspiring, if all the players in the NBA sat down until [Sterling] got put out. To me that would make a hell of a statement for Black America; my hat would be off for them. I’m not expecting them to do that, they don’t owe us that. But it would be a huge dynamic and welcomed statement from where I see things.
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