The Bizarre Double Standard Universe of the NBA – Joe Walsh

The Bizarre Double Standard Universe of the NBA



Now that Donald Sterling, the soon-to-be-former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, has been exiled from the NBA for life, maybe the NBA can continue cleaning house on some of the other members of its family whose comments are, “deeply offensive and harmful,” and, “are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multicultural and multiethnic league,” in the words of Adam Silver, who has quickly become the frontrunner for TIME magazine’s person of the year.

Maybe we can talk about Spike Lee, who was sitting in the front row at Silver’s press conference on Tuesday.

spike-leeWe all remember Spike, right? He’s had a long association with the NBA, appearing in commercials with Michael Jordan, sitting court side at Knicks games. He currentl hosts NBA Radio on SiriusXM. He’s one of the league’s premier hangers-on.

Oh, and maybe you don’t remember what Spike said about his views on interracial dating:

During the promotion of his film “Jungle Fever,” about a black/white interracial romance, the black filmmaker stated that he disliked interracial couples! Incredibly, he said, “I give interracial couples a look. Daggers. They get uncomfortable when they see me on the street.”

Or maybe we can talk about Kobe Bryant, who has been a star in he league for almost 20 years. He’s a five-time NBA champion. He’s been the face of the Lakers for a generation … and in 2011, he also used an anti-gay slur during an NBA game, directed at a referee:

Bryant was irritated after he was called for an offensive foul and received his 15th technical of the season during the game. He punched a chair on the Lakers’ bench before he sat, threw down a towel and yelled “Bennie!” before muttering a curse word followed by the word “faggot.”

He was fined $100,000 and received a one-game suspension — a far cry from the death sentence imposed on Donald Sterling.

Don’t forget about Amare Stoudemire of the New York Knicks. He also seems to have a problem with gays and lesbians, as he tweeted an anti-gay slur to a fan. He received a $50,000 fine and no suspension.

How about Isiah Thomas?

A jury ruled today that Isiah Thomas, the coach of the New York Knicks, sexually harassed a former team executive and that Madison Square Garden, the owner of the team, improperly fired her for complaining about the unwanted advances.

The jury, in Federal District Court in Manhattan, also ruled that the former executive, Anucha Browne Sanders, is entitled to $11.6 million in punitive damages from the Garden and James L. Dolan, the chairman of Cablevision, the parent company of the Garden and the Knicks.

Also, Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards who brought guns into the team locker room, before getting into a stand-off, with drawn weapons, with a teammate. Arenas received a 50 game suspension.

How about Kendrick Perkins? He allegedly punched a woman outside a nightclub in Houston?

Or Lamar Odom? He drives under the influence, fights with his wife, and has struggled with drug addiction.

Or Michael Beasley? And his littany of issues.

It sounds like now might be a good time to finish the good work that Adam Silver started, by applying a consistent standards to everyone who is a part of the NBA.