NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers or the NBA, after audio leaked of Sterling and his girlfriend V. Stiviano arguing over Stiviano having posted photos of  African-Americans—one in particular being NBA legend Magic Johnson—on Instagram and reprimanding her for bringing African-Americans to Clippers game.

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 Malone

XXL: What was your initial reaction?
Man, it just got worse and worse. I’m not surprised, because Baron Davis, a couple of'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.


XXL: Do you have a personal story of experiencing bigotry?
No, because y’all would be covering me going to jail. It’s not about being tough; it’s about having a spine. I truly believe it’s a sign of the times; it's really soft, everything going on is soft. It’s too passive. It needs to be a stand at times and now you don’t have anybody to lead the stand. Who’s going to stand up to what this man said? You’re going to wait on the NBA? There’s no pressure outside of conversation, there’s no drastic punishment. There’s no pressure because all we [are] going to do is talk about it. Same with Trayvon Martin and Florida; the community leaders didn’t do anything of substantial measure to make people feel pressure in doing anything. It's so easy to persecute each other, but you don’t want to stand up against bad laws? The Clippers players don’t want to stand up against racist owners? If you listen to this man, he sounded like he was talking about slaves. That shit was crazy. To see that and they took the court, I can’t believe it.

I’m just disappointed in the players; I really look up to Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, all those guys. A lot of kids do. A lot of black kids got the wrong message with them guys playing [Sunday]. It became [that] it was okay. Turn your practice jersey inside out, but your regulation jersey is showing. Everybody saying they're playing for a championship; they don’t even get the trophy, the owner gets the trophy. If they step out on the court, the owner makes money. The only way to hurt people with power is to hurt their pockets and they could have actually done that.



XXL: 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.


XXL: Do you have a personal story of experiencing bigotry?
Oh man, that’s constantly. I warn my son all the time, because it’s a reality for most black males. Whether you’re in New York City and you can’t get a cab, wife and I. We got engaged and I traded in my convertible for a Prius, becoming a family man. I get pulled over in the middle of Iowa while I’m on my way to a radio interview for going 71 in a 70. The cop was chasing someone speeding, so I got out the way for him. He saw I was black and got behind me.

This my wife's first experience. I grew up with the LAPD so I’m really confrontational with the police and straightforward. So he said, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” I said, “Yeah, because I’m black.” My wife and the officer were like, "What?" And he was like, "What you say?" And I said, “Because I’m black.” He said, “What do you mean?” I told him I’m going 71 in a 70 and I have to be five miles over the speed limit for you to even write a citation. I’m well-informed, and I know my rights. He made me sit in the front seat of his car and talked to me, saying, “You people need to get this chip off your shoulder.” Us people? I think because I put it out there for him there wasn’t too much he could do. But yeah, that’s just one incident of many. So I also think, probably a lot of players in the NBA, at this point, you’re used to it. You try to just support your family, move on and hope all these old racist motherfuckers die.