The NBA, the NFL, Sterling, and the Redskins
Today, NPR Commentator Frank Deford, also a Senior Contributing Writer at Sports Illustrated, made the following observation about longer reaching implications of the Donald Sterling affair:
On thing I think may have a carry over factor here, is that it puts more pressure on another commissioner, Roger Goodell of the NFL, to try and force Daniel Snyder, of the Washington Redskins, to drop that name. That remains now the most defamatory issue in sports — the Redskins. If Donald Sterling insulted a minority and is essentially thrown out of the game, then there may be some more sensitivity training that needed in the NFL with regard to the Redskins.
It seems to me that Deford’s point is a good one. If one is being intellectually consistent, then it’s hard to create an argument for maintaining the racially insensitive Redskins name after the defrocking of Sterling over racial insensitivity.*
* – I realize that some will argue that Sterling’s punishment is *really* about his long and storied history of racial discrimination. But, like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, I don’t buy this argument. If this specific, inflammatory language *had not* come to light, everything would have remained status quo and Sterling would have continued his racist behavior unabated.