February 28, 2011
Black History Month has been celebrated in the United States since 1976, and entire generations of Americans have grown up knowing that Black History Month falls every year in February. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling doesn't appear to either know this, or he doesn't appear to care. Either way, he's celebrating Black History Month in March this year.
So says an ad he took out on Sunday in the Los Angeles Times, celebrating Black History Month in a March 2 game between his Clippers and the Houston Rockets.
To use Deadspin writer Emma Carmichael's much-better-than-I-could-come-up-with line, "it is unclear exactly how the Clippers will determine a child's 'privilege' status, but we have one guess."
The Black History Month mixup is all the more shocking given that Sterling has a history of facing race-based accusations.
As owner of the Clippers, he's been accused of some pretty awful stuff as well. It was reported earlier this season by Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears that Sterling could be heard repeatedly heckling the since-traded Baron Davis (though if Davis were white, we suspect Sterling and several thousand other Clipper fans would heckle just as passionately), and he's been reported as making unseemly comments about his half-clothed players in the Clipper locker room.
Worse is the ad's implementation. One thousand tickets to a random Wednesday game between two lottery teams is nothing, especially considering the 1,000 adults that have to accompany (read: buy a ticket to stay alongside the kid who gets in for free) the children. Toss in concession receipts (tell a kid of any age or background to sit through a three-hour basketball game and not ask for a morsel or fructose-laden beverage; just try it) and you've got yourself another money-making scheme, there, Donald.
Really, the only cost to Sterling is this full page ad in the Los Angeles Times, which had to cost quite a bit. Seems like advertising more than anything, regardless of the team or owner. With Sterling, it just looks like another reason why the most despicable person in sports (non-rapist division) needs to be hurled from the NBA by a commissioner who prefers Los Angeles profits over dignity and respect.
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