The former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned indefinitely from attending any future Clippers games. This decision was made after Sterling reportedly told his girlfriend that it was everyone’s best interest for her to not ever fraternize with any black people or players. It was okay for her admire their talents and athletic prowess as long as she did not publicly intermingle with them. How ironic is it that Mr. Sterling browbeat his girlfriend for being excited about meeting one of the sports all time greatest players, Magic Johnson and posting his likeness on Instagram, when he is the owner of a team full of black players? Was Sterling merely exploiting the physical talent of his former athletes and not genuinely invested in their overall wellness? One could safely assume both to be true given his former position as owner and his most recent comments.
Many people are arguing that banning Sterling from his own team is uncouth. After all, he did state those racist comments in the privacy of his own home and away from any public forums. However, I think many of those same people would be up in arms if a school principal had been recorded making racial epithets. Surely, no one would condone that type of behavior even if it were to occur away from school grounds. When you are in a powerful position in which you have the ability to influence large bodies of people, your thoughts and your words become your brand whether or not you would like for them to do so.
Any plans that Mr. Sterling had considered implementing with his winning team have now been foiled as the team will be moving on without him. Mayor of Sacramento, former all star, and current chairman of the National Basketball Association Kevin Johnson stated that the decision had been made to terminate Sterling from his position because “when a hint of cancer is shown, you have to cut it out immediately.” Obviously, Sterling was that element in which many deemed as both unnecessary and unhealthy.
Now as the Los Angeles Clippers take on the Golden Gate Warriors tonight, Mr. Sterling will be watching the game like most people from around the world, at home. How ironic is that? If I were Magic Johnson I would buy floor seats just for the hell out with a shirt that reads, “How you like me now? #winning.”
These past two weeks have been extremely challenging. But, I hate complaining so I won’t. What I will say is that throughout all the turmoil that I’ve been a part of or saw, I’m still smiling. As hard as life’s obstacles are, I keep reminding myself to see the joy even in the midst of pain. I’ve also learned and come to realize that as a teacher, I am just that– a teacher. I refuse to be Superman, he’s already taken. But I am very happy with being Mr. Powell. I go above and beyond to help my students. They go out of their way to help me as well. My classroom has a strong sense of culture and community. I would even go as far as to say that we are a family. It’s extremely difficult to see your family go through tough situations. You want the best for them all and it’s so frustrating when you feel like everything that you’re doing isn’t immediately helping. However, I am realizing that as long as I work in my locus of control I am helping.
So like my favorite animal, an eagle, I command myself to continue to soar and help as best I can. I will do my part to make the lives of people who I come into contact with better. And for those things that I do not have sovereignty over, I willingly allow God to take over.
There are few people in my musical Rolodex who I would even be able to say remotely compare to the Legend of Mr. Gaye. From the beginning of his career until his untimely passing, his catalog of music is chock-full of timeless pieces. Brotha Marvin was an innovator with a keen sense of personal style. He never followed the crowd when it came down to his clothing or music.He was unbashful about being himself because the truth was more valuable than any faux representation . He presented his music as his truth and let it be as lyrically deep and raw as needed. His sentiments on life could leave you breathless if you ever where to close your eyes and inhale the knowledge. Hearing “Mercy, Mercy Me” today has just as much impact, if not more than when it was originally release 40 years ago. Some of his songs will make you cry and feel sorrowful. Many of them will make you think and reflect on all the things that matter the most to you in life. Others will just whisk you away on a journey of bliss, also known as love. He was the original Soul Brotha. The ladies man who taught other men how to be. Today, we celebrate his life and his legacy left on earth.