Donald Sterling: A Not-So-Brief History of Racism, Sexism, and Being an A-Hole in General

Chances are that you are one of the many people who are enthusiastically cheering on Donald Sterling’s expulsion from the NBA.  He has been an extremely poor representative of the league and quite frankly, America as a whole.  However, in case you are unconvinced of his bad behaviour or if perhaps you missed some of the details regarding his intolerable treatment of people, here is an outline of his past behaviour and offences.


Donald Tokowitz is born, the son of Jewish immigrants.  Donald Tokowitz changes his name to Sterling approximately two decades later for reasons he hasn’t seemed to explain.  A former colleague reckons it is because it sounds more “successful”, though it also implies that perhaps Sterling is not so comfortable with his own heritage.


After being the owner of the Clippers for approximately two years, Donald Sterling is interviewing new coaches.  One of the candidates he interviews is named Rollie Massimino and the meeting can be described as “informal” at best since the interview allegedly consisted of Sterling drinking champagne to the point of intoxication with a female companion.  However, the worst part of the interview is Sterling’s question to Massimino: “I wanna know why you think you can coach these n*****s?”, a question that is irrefutably racist.


Sterling is involved in a lawsuit with a former mistress where he asserts in a deposition that since he gave her $500 every time they had sex, he was making it clear that they weren’t together; meaning that she was essentially his own personal prostitute.  He also, inexplicably, went into strange detail about a sexual encounter he had in a limo following a question about his handwriting.  Such exchanges indicate his insensitivity towards women and that he really enjoys touting his sexual escapades and “conquests” to whoever will (or has to) listen.


The Clippers’ assistant coach is diagnosed with prostate cancer and requires a $70,000 surgery.  Sterling reportedly tells the coach that the type of surgery he needs is not covered under their insurance and so the team cannot pay for it.  The team pays for it anyway, but only because four amazing players; Chris Kaman, Corey Maggette, Elton Brand and Marko Jaric; decided to pay for it with their own money.  The juxtaposition between the four players’ generosity and Sterling’s cold greed is truly remarkable.


Sterling is charged with discrimination with regards to the many rental properties he owns in the Los Angeles area.   One of Sterling’s superintendents testified that Sterling was refusing to rent to African-Americans because they were “dirty” and “smelled”.  The superintendent also recalled an incident when he brought forward some issues that a tenant was having and Sterling said “is she one of those black people that stink? ... Just evict the b****”.


He heckles his own player, Baron Davis, so mercilessly that Davis starts to really dislike the game he used to love so much.  Davis becomes used to the fact that if Sterling is going to be at the game, he is not going to play well because Sterling was wrecking his self-esteem.


A wrongful termination suit is filed by Elgin Baylor, who also reports incidents of Sterling bringing women into the locker room to admire the players’ “beautiful black bodies” as if they are his property to show off.  To further the “plantation mentality”, as Baylor aptly described it, Sterling is also reported as saying that he “would like to have a white Southern coach coaching poor black players”.


The phone call recording where a man, who is claimed to be Sterling, asserts that his girlfriend can do anything she wants with African-American people, including have sex with them, but she cannot bring them to his games and engage in public activities with them.  His girlfriend is in fact part African-American but Sterling is convinced that she can portray herself as Latina or white, which apparently makes him feel better.


However, there is one thing that Donald Sterling did well, and that was contributing DNA to this girl, his daughter, who posted this awesome picture:

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