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Donald Sterling, Clippers Giving Away Tickets to Celebrate Black History Month

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.

Donald Sterling Reportedly Said He Wanted to Fire David Stern

Right now we’re going to be taking a trip in the way back machine, but it should be fun. According to Mark Heisler of the LA Times, about a year or so ago at an owners meeting in Las Vegas, Commissioner David Stern (who in case you didn’t know, is employed by the owners), asked Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his opinion on a subject.

Heisler says three sources told him Sterling said “OK, I would fire you. You’re great at marketing, but you’re not tough enough with the union.”

And the legend continues. This coming from the same guy who heckles his own players and supposedly has no regard for their privacy. Given the league’s potential lockout looming, I’m guessing he’s not the only owner who feels that way, but should we be surprised by his reported brashness? We’ve learned to know better than that. Something tells me the long-standing curse over the franchise is not a coincidence (not that it matters to him since he’s making all the money).

Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Heckles Baron Davis, Other Players

One of the main reasons the Los Angeles Clippers have been so terrible in recent years is that their rich, racist owner doesn’t care about winning.  We already told you how much it sucks to be a Clippers fan, but being a player is no picnic either.  Sure, losing is frustrating, but how would you feel if your boss was heckling you while you were trying to do your job?  Baron Davis and a few other Clippers know all about it.

According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been taunting his own players from his courtside seat since the middle of last season.  Among the things Sterling shouts are “Why are you in the game?” and “You’re out of shape!”  Davis, who inked a five-year deal worth $65 million two season ago, is said to be Sterling’s main target.

“There’s nothing I can say,” Davis said of Sterling’s taunts. “I have no comment on that. You just get to this point where it’s a fight every day. It’s a fight. You’re fighting unnecessary battles. I’m fighting unnecessary battles. It’s frustrating because I know and my teammates know I’m capable of getting it done, even dudes on the other team. It’s frustrating.”

Baron’s right — what can he do?  Sterling’s a notorious nut job that obviously has no desire to win.  If your boss harassed you on the job and you knew you were going to get paid anyway, why bother trying?  It’s only a matter of time before Blake Griffin figures it out and takes his freakish dunking abilities elsewhere.

UPDATE: Here’s a picture of Sterling appearing to heckle Baron via SI’s Vault.