Dear Donald Sterling: Just Shut Up, Already

All he had to do was say, “I’m sorry.” He couldn’t even get that right.

Donald Sterling
Donald Sterling Screenshot/CNN

As if that weren’t bad enough, Sterling wondered aloud, “But what does [Johnson] do for the black people? He doesn’t do anything,”

Magic. Johnson. The NBA legend who, in addition to bringing businesses (and jobs!) to urban communities, has, more importantly, spent the last 20-plus years raising awareness about HIV/AIDS by encouraging testing and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in communities of color. Sterling is asking what Magic, of all people, has done for black folk? Did I hear that right?

Why was he talking about Magic instead of apologizing to Magic, along with a long list of other people, like the entire Clippers team, all the people employed by the Clippers, the NBA, his family, his friends? Where is the acknowledgment of pain and suffering that his words caused? It was all so simple, but Sterling apparently is too simple to get it and too rooted in racism to stop himself from offending people.

After the interview, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who is leading the charge to rid the NBA of Sterling, double-downed on his desire to get the Clippers owner far, far away from the NBA.

“The NBA board of governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible,” he said in a statement.

That time can’t come soon enough.

Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life and the upcoming Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love. Follow her on Twitter.