As you likely know, Clippers owner Donald Sterling found himself facing a firestorm of criticism centered around leaked audio detailing his views on race. Needless to say, what was found on that recording is indefensible. If you haven't heard it (are you living under a rock?) check out TMZ's original report here. Deadspin also has more audio that you can listen to here.
I cannot imagine a scenario where this audio is not an indictment of this man's ethics - a view into the man's heart. Even if it was spliced it still doesn't change the basic gist of his words. And, given Sterling's past dalliance's with race issues, I think it's fair to say that he has some growing up to do. At the very least, he needs to acknowledge his transgressions and accept that he is a flawed man.
That being said, Sterling's words were not only pointed towards Dodger owner Magic Johnson. He also had similar words for Matt Kemp. Check out this TMZ report for the Magic and Kemp photos that had Sterling steaming.
Well, before yesterday's game, Kemp spoke with reporters about being thrust into this nightmare. Via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Asked if he would consider attending their games if Sterling is suspended by the NBA, Kemp replied, “Honestly, what is a suspension going to do for an owner? He still owns the team. He’s still making money. You fine him? He’s a billionaire. What’s fining him going to do? That’s not really going to do anything.Please, Matt. Don't do that. Don't let that curmudgeon ruin it for all of us!
“This is bigger than the game. I’m shocked people still feel that way towards Latins, blacks, white people. We’re all the same. We all bleed the same. We’re all the same people. It really doesn’t make any sense.”
Kemp recalled taking a picture with Sterling’s female friend.
“I remember taking a picture but I didn’t think it would ever come to y’all talking about this. It’s crazy, man,” Kemp said. “One picture and I get linked to it. It’s crazy. I guess you have to be careful who you take pictures with now -– or just don’t take pictures. Tell everybody. If I don’t take a picture, don’t take it personal. I’ll give you an autograph, no more pictures.”
Following up on Matt's discussion with the press, he chose to change his at-bat walk-up music to express his views on the whole thing. On Sunday afternoon, they played Michael Jackson's "Black or White." Larry Brown Sports notes that he decided to use the song when a teammate played it in the clubhouse before the game. Check out the video below.
I must say that this was a classy move by Matt. Using MJ's song was a subtle way to let his true feelings known.
Photo at the very top featuring Kemp and Van Slyke was taken yesterday, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014. I wonder if that embrace is a modern day version of the Pee Wee and Jackie embrace of over 60 years ago.
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