Life Lessons learned in pro sports 2014

By: Karlyle Stephens

Well we’ve made it to the end of another year. With that, happy holidays!

It is the time of year to stay warm, enjoy quality time with family, eat good food, and reflect.

Many unforgettable events happened in the world in 2014, and so was the case in our beloved world of sports entertainment.

College athletes fought for their fair share of pay, and attempt to form the first ever players union.

The NFL suffered countless off-field issues, and made it one of the league’s worst years in history as far as public relations. The most scandalous of them all however, in my opinion, was what happened earlier this year in the NBA.

Now I grew up a fanatic for the NBA and I always knew to an extent that it was a business. But this year we found out exactly what kind of business it is. One modeled after a plantation.

The now former, 30 year owner of the LA Clippers Donald Sterling, provided us all- however mistakenly- with a peek into his “culture”; one that doesn’t allow himself or anyone around him to publicly associate with black people.

How can an owner in a league of predominately black athletes feel such a way toward a race of people responsible for much of his income?

Well, how could a slave master?

I immediately became concerned with these peers of his who were alerting him of the “culture violation” his girlfriend committed.

We were lucky for one more to be exposed when Atlanta Hawks former owner Bruce Levenson had emails released of him complaining about his arena experience, being “too black.”

These incidents were huge for me not only because I’m a fan of the game, but because it opened my eyes to how the world works, and who it is that runs it. I was most disappointed in how all our favorite superstars of the league reacted.

I can now only imagine what a powerful moment it could have been if players like “King James”, had time outside of riding around with the Monopoly man and took a stand to not play until Sterling and his “culture” were removed.

It wouldn’t have been easy I’m sure, but I would have more respect if that was the case. But hey, I understand they wouldn’t want to lose the food, clothes, cars, and houses Sterling and his peers’ league provide for them.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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