Somewhere along the line we’ve lost our senses and we’ve all become part of the lunatic fringe. The longer this Donald Sterling issue goes on in the NBA the less sure I am which side is nuttier.

Sterling has gone on the defense in an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN. He said he is not a racist and, in reference to comments made to his former girlfriend on her voice mail, he asked if he wasn’t entitled to one mistake. Sometime, while he was waiting for Anderson Cooper to arrive, Sterling must have lost count. He must have forgotten that for 35 years he and his political incorrectness have been like a dirty little secret the NBA was hiding until everybody got caught with their hands in the same cookie jar.

Donald Sterling isn’t the only one living on the lunatic fringe in this story. On the other side is LeBron James. Sterling’s wife, who may or may not have some lunatic blood in her veins, the book’s still out on that, though sticking with Donald as long as she did does offer some compelling evidence, now wants to keep the team, claiming she’s a partner in the enterprise and she shouldn’t suffer the punishment of her husband/business partner, who has been ordered by the NBA to sell the team. Mrs. Sterling vows to take this all the way through the legal system. Enter James, the Miami Heat star, who says no one in the Sterling family should be allowed to own an NBA team. “As players we want what’s right”, said James, “And we don’t feel like no one in his family should be able to own the team.”

With that kind of thinking the American theater would have been robbed of one of it’s great talents had post Civil War Americans supported the same attitude. Some did, but Edwin Boothe was allowed to continue in a profession in which he was generally believed to have been one of the great talents of his time. If the sins of the fathers and brothers were held against politicians I can think of at least a couple of men who wouldn’t have been president. Does anyone in New England believe Jerry Remy should be removed from the Red Sox broadcast booth?

Magic Johnson says no player will ever again play for anyone named Sterling. I can think of a few who might, like the last guys cut from other training camps who’s only offer is for two or three mil a year from someone named Sterling.

Is insensitivity a limited, some time, some issue thing, while it’s permissable to attack the senstitivities of some entire segments of society? TNT basketball announcer Charles Barkley, who’s famously drawn free passes in the past for such insensitive actions as chasing a referree down the runway at Madison Square Garden while angrily calling him a “Skinny white bastard”, has made large women his latest target, referring to the women in San Antonio as fat and disgusting before going on a rant on plus sized women in general. And everybody laughed. I’d like to hear from a spokesman for large women about that, but, so far, they don’t seem to count.

Isn’t what ESPN did to Michael Sam a little insensitive? While taking the sensitivity high road, saying someone’s sexuality isn’t an issue, with all the replays of Sam, the first openly gay player in NFL history, embracing and kissing his male partner after he was selected by the Rams in the last round of the draft, they made it THE issue. They’ve frequently shown players embracing and kissing their girlfriends on their selection, but never did the act get the oft repeated treatment they gave to Sam.

We seem to have gotten lost on our search to find correctness, and wandered all the way to the lunatic fringe.

Wth a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.


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