Now that Donald Sterling is out and we’re done congratulating ourselves for tar-and-feathering him in the most public way possible, it might be time we take the proactive/Bomani Jones approach to getting rid of racist assholes and not wait till they’re caught on tape by their gold-digging mistresses girlfriends.
Yes Sterling was bad, but these owners who haven’t had their careers destroyed are just as bad (if not worse).
#5 Dan Gilbert – Cleveland Cavaliers
Dan Gilbert is most known for being LeBron James’ crazy ex-girlfriend that wrote him letters like this (in Comic Sans, no less), but he was also one of the founders of Quicken Loans, “a major player in the subprime mortgage crisis that derailed the American economy by passing their shady loans along to homebuyers via Countrywide.”
“Dan Gilbert’s company worked closely with Countrywide as the front end originator of loans. Quicken would then move those loans to Countrywide (in many instances the borrowers didn’t even know their debt was being transferred) and then they put those loans into the shaky derivates market. Once those loans were turned over to Countrywide, Gilbert was able to completely disassociate himself from any of the subprime mess. However, analysts have affirmed his involvement.”
#4 Mikhail Prokhorov – Brooklyn Nets
Severely overpaying Deron Williams isn’t the only ethical transgression on “The Mad Russian”‘s permanent record. In 2007, Prokhorov, who as of 2013 was the 9th richest person in Russia and the 70th richest person in the world, was arrested with a plane full of hookers. But that sort of harmless playboy galavanting is nothing compared to his “interesting” ties to the Russian government and their more clandestine operations, which is terrifying.
#3 Richard Devos – Orlando Magic
Richard Devos, owner of the Orlando Magic, doesn’t hate gay people, he just spends hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to defeat gay marriage in Florida and the US at large.
“Q: You gave $100,000 to the effort to defeat the recognition of gay marriage in Florida. Why did you choose to put money behind that cause?
A: Because I believe in it. That’s just a sacred issue of respecting marriage. It was not an anti-gay thing…I have been hung in effigy by the gay community for a long time, from when I was on President Reagan’s first AIDS commission…“
Unfortunately, the NBA will probably never go after him because he doesn’t actively discriminate against gay people in the workplace and, as Scott Maxwell points out, “the main reason the NBA won’t target Rich DeVos for his vocal beliefs that gay people need to accept their second-class status — and not ‘keep trying to change things’ — is because a lot of people still agree with him.”
Him being the guy that said, “AIDS is a disease that people gain because of their actions. Actions have consequences, and you are responsible for yours,” and “Marriage is not vital to them [homosexuals] in my opinion. They’ve made it a vital issue because they want to.”
#2 Dan Snyder – Washington Redskins
The most well known of the group, Snyder was probably thanking God that Sterling found a way for a guy whose team’s name is a racial slur to not be the most despised owner in sports.
Well, a racial slur to some; in Snyder’s mind the name is, “a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.” And with that off his conscious, he’s free to make sure local journalists are fired for besmirching his name while Redskins legend John Riggins goes on record saying he’s “a bad man” with a “dark heart.”
#1 Marge Schott – Cincinnati Reds
– She called two of the black stars on her team, Eric Davis and Dave Parker, “my million dollar n*****s.”
– She resisted hiring blacks.
– She once said “I’d rather have a trained monkey working for me than n*****s.
– In response to players who wore diamonds in their ear: “Only fruits wear earrings.”
– She thought Hitler was “good in the beginning.”
– She kept a swastika armband in her Indian Hill mansion, saying it was a gift from a soldier to her husband after he saved his life in World War II.
– She once said, in the presence of her Jewish marketing director, “Sneaky goddamn Jews are all alike.”
Donald Sterling may have been Public Enemy Number One, but there are still plenty of owners getting rich of our collective sports-viewing dime and enjoying court side seats to every game. Mission far from accomplished. #SicSemperTyrannus
(By the way, I know this might sound a bit ornery, but can we as a community please spare each other the ostrich in the sand, this-isn’t-helping-anyone comment of “This is why I stopped watching the NBA/NFL/television years ago” that someone always inevitably writes. It’s not helping anyone. Maybe let’s brainstorm some ideas of how to properly go after these guys?)