Hey guys. I spent quite some time on this letter. I wanted to run it by you guys before I send it to the NBA. I don't know if it will reach the intended party, but I thought I would share it:
Commissioner Adam Silver,
I'm sure that you are a very busy man, and while I don't expect a response I just hope that one day this letter may make it to your desk. Like many other fans I have enjoyed watching the NBA over the course of 13 years now, and I have taken pride in watching history happen. I have witnessed the rise of young players like Blake Griffin, Stephen Curry, and Damian Lillard, and I am now witnessing the twilight of other greats like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett. I began watching the NBA in 2001, and saw it rise from a league popular only in America to a growing global phenomenon.
The growth and impact of the sport has even extended beyond the court. The NBA has proven time and again that not only is it dedicated to providing its viewers with quality entertainment but also in giving back to the community. This commitment is evident by the NBA's promotion and participation in important social issues such as education, youth and family development, and health and wellness.
Still, I believe that the NBA is not just a form or recreation and entertainment. I believe that the NBA provides a welcome refuge from the realities and injustices that occur not just within our communities, but throughout the world. The basketball court appears to be one of the arenas where many ideals of the human dream can be realized. One ideal that I speak of is unity, where for 48 minutes men of different creeds, color, and religion work in harmony to obtain a goal. In these 48 minutes we escape the realities that many of us have to return to.
April 25, 2014 will be a dark day in NBA history. This day will go down in infamy and remind us that the worst of human behavior, racism, continues to spill over into our refuge. The moment I speak of is the now widely heard audio of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling making his racist views known to Ms. V. Stiviano.
As a Clippers fan of over 13 years I have taken a great deal of emotional investment in my team. Perhaps the notions of the American dream are rooted deeply in my psyche. These dreams are fueled no doubt by romantic myths that penniless immigrants could turn hard work into a fortune and happiness. Some of us cannot change our personal lives, but our sports teams offer us a chance to escape and live this dream. They are, in the case of Clippers fans, a symbol and refection of us.
After an atrocious history the Clippers became a symbol of rebirth. They held promise that sometimes the pauper can become the prince. They reminded their fans that years of loyalty are rewarded. And Despite boasts of the roars in Oracle arena or Chesapeake Energy Arena no fans can compare to the dedication that Clippers fans have demonstrated by their unwavering support of the organization in the worst of times.
Yet, despite how far we have come it appears to unravel by the horrible deeds of one man, Donald T.Sterling. Commissioner Silver, I applaud your decision to allow due process to run its course. However, I encourage you to seek transfer of ownership of the Clippers from Donald T. Sterling to someone that better embodies the values and worldviews of the league. As we speak many NBA greats have already voiced their repulsion and anger towards Donald T. Sterlings remarks. Even the Clippers players themselves have shown signs of protest.
This has already proven to be a distraction, and I can safely say that it has trickled into the minds of the players. At this point I believe that the racist remarks by Donald T. Sterling have caused irreparable harm to the Clippers, and I would not be surprised if the 2-1 lead the Clippers hold over the Golden State Warriors evaporates into a 2-4 series loss due to the humiliation and anger that the players are enduring.
Quietly, many Clippers fans have already predicted the damage to be to such an extent that they don't view hope for the remainder of this season. I cannot blame them for their sense of defeat. Others are vocal that these racist remarks by Mr. Sterling will force many future players to refuse to play for this organization. Yet, something must be done to resolve this matter. Commissioner Silver, I know this is not a simple matter that has been placed at your feet, so I don't expect a simple or quick solution. However, I believe that years down the road this event, and how you responded to it, will greatly characterize your time as commissioner of the NBA and how people perceive you. On behalf of many Clippers fans I hope that you lobby aggressively for Mr. Sterling to relinquish ownership. I hope that you are successful in this task, and I hope that we Clippers fans may once again believe that change is possible....because as of now we are in doubt.
A Clippers Fan