In one of the biggest ironies you could conceive, Clippers owner and notorious alleged racist Donald Sterling was pictured along with Blake Griffin in an ad celebrating Black History Month in the Sunday edition of the LA Times:
This is quite the clever marketing for a few reasons. First off, adults must accompany the children receiving the free tickets, so they have to purchase tickets themselves. Plus, you know children love food at the concessions, so this isn’t exactly a huge financial burden to the organization. The other big and more important reason why this is good marketing by the Clippers is because it portrays Sterling as a benevolent donor to the African-American community.
Sterling, as you well know, has taken a public beating regarding his alleged racism towards African Americans. He’s heckled his own players including Baron Davis, has been accused of many racial actions by former GM Elgin Baylor including having a “plantation mentality,” and he’s been alleged to bring women into the locker room and make comments such as “look at those beautiful black bodies.”
What better way to change his public image than by giving away 1,000 tickets to a game to underprivileged children in the name of Black History Month? If the real goal were to treat children to a game, then why wouldn’t he quietly donate the tickets to local elementary schools or Boys and Girls Clubs? How many underpriviliged children do you know who read the Sunday LA Times sports section and ask their parent to take them to the game? Make no mistake about it — this was a P.R. move every bit as much as it was a charitable action, so don’t get confused when you hear otherwise.