In case you are living under a rock, Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers is a racist scumbag. He is also Jewish.
Adam Silver, newish Commissioner of the NBA, today kicked Sterling to the curb, fining him to the fullest extent of the by-laws governing the owners of NBA teams and banning him from all NBA related activities for life. He is also Jewish.
Obviously the “Jewish” issue has been in the background for this entire nauseating episode. However, as HEEB and anyone who was watching the full press conference reports, it came to a head today when Howard Megdal of Sports on Earth (also MOT) asked the following:
You spoke about your personal response to [Sterling’s racist remarks and his subsequent punishment]. In terms of Donald Sterling self-identifying as Jewish, and you doing the same as well, I’m wondering if there was a specific kind of pain associated with that for you, and if you felt a certain responsibility within the Jewish community to be responding to this in this way?
Silver, for his part answered the question well, saying that he believes that his “response was as a human being.”
Taking Silver at his word, I believe he was horrified by Sterling’s statements and was more than happy to play the enforcer in this situation. It is easy to be on the obvious right side of history.
However, I would have loved him to say something like:
“Yes, Howard, I am a proud member of the Jewish community. I was taught as a child and continue to learn today that for all of history, Jews have been the subject of extreme hatred and debilitating discrimination. My family has seen the horrors of modern history and remembers the travesties of generations past. Jews have the experience and we should know better. So Howard, there is no specific pain to me as a Jew to enact this fine or to ban Sterling from our Association. In fact, I take great pride in doing so as a Jew. “
He could follow that up by telling Howard not to be late to Shabbat dinner next week and to say hello to his mother for him.