Tuesday, May 6, 2014

NBA and Media Beat Up Man Fighting Cancer

Did the NBA in effect punish L.A. Clippers 80 year old owner Donald Sterling because he is fighting prostate cancer?

The NBA has voted to force L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell his team because of a secret  recording  in which he told his black girl friend he didn't want her to be seen in public, such as at Clippers games, with black men such as former basketball star Magic Johnson.  He said he didn't mind her going to bed with such men.   He just didn't  want her to be in public with them.   

I don't know the specifics of the current status of  Sterling's prostate cancer, but it is possible his condition or treatment caused his comments to his girl friend V. Stiviano.   I don't know if Sterling was undergoing chemotherapy at the time of  his comments or whether the condition known as "chemo brain" might have affected his statement.

Prostate cancer can adversely affect a man's sexual abilities which could be particularly frustrating for a man who associates with an attractive young woman.  NBA players have a reputation, at least among some comics, of being very sexually active. This reputation is due in part to former players such as Magic Johnson bragging about their sexual activities.   I suspect that the reputation is exaggerated and based in part on racist beliefs about black men,  but Sterling could have been especially frustrated seeing Stiviano with men whom he believed could easily do what he might be unable to do because of his cancer.

We aren't always consciously aware of why we feel a certain way or say certain things.  The reasons may be locked in our subconscious.   People sometimes hire professionals like tv's Dr. Phil to learn why they feel the way they do.    Sterling may not have been consciously aware  of why he said what he did to Stiviano and may have a mental block that prevents him from understanding why some people are upset by the statement.

Sterling's statement to Stiviano sounds more like frustration and jealousy than racism.  He said he didn't mind her being with black men so long as he didn't see her with them. He was saying he  didn't want her reminding him that someone else might be able to satisfy her in ways he would like to but  cannot because of his cancer.   He was probably too embarrassed to talk about his frustration to Stiviano  directly.  He was asking her in an intimate conversation to not do something that hurt him without explaining why that action hurt him.   

The NBA's action against Sterling might be justifiable if he had made a public statement.  However, the NBA had no business punishing Sterling for an intimate statement made to a close personal friend that may have been misrepresented by sensation seeking journalists who think everybody is as motivated by so-called "racial" differences as they are.   It is the media that continues to push the myth that differences in skin color constitute racial differences by referring to  Americans of different complexions as being of different races.  

Stress can cause all of us to say things we don't really mean.   We may even say things that hurt those we would not think of hurting in normal circumstances.   Fighting cancer can be an extremely stressful situation.
 Many of us were raised to believe that you shouldn't kick a man when he is down.   America's media sharks seem to believe that is the best time to attack because the victim is less able to defend himself. 

It would serve the NBA right if cancer survivors and those currently fighting cancer would boycott the NBA for mistreating a cancer patient.

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