Remember that scene in Airplane! when the woman is having hysterics and everyone on the plane is lining up to hit her in the face?
That’s pretty much what’s going on with Donald Sterling right now. The woman is Sterling, and the angry passengers, that’s everyone even remotely connected to the NBA.
LeBron James. Charles Barkley. Kobe Bryant. Doc Rivers. The entire Clippers basketball team. They’ve all gotten in their shots.
And now, speaking of Airplane!, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has taken his punch too. But Kareem isn’t only hitting out at Donald Sterling. He’s taking on the whole dang system.
Kareem, who has always been a little bit of a deeper thinker than your average NBA player anyway, wants us to remember that as horrible as Sterling may be, he is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to racism.
In a column for Time magazine, Kareem put Sterling and the entire weekend controversy in perspective.
Make no mistake: Donald Sterling is the villain of this story. But he’s just a handmaiden to the bigger evil. In our quest for social justice, we shouldn’t lose sight that racism is the true enemy. He’s just another jerk with more money than brains.
Kareem wonders aloud why the public wasn’t more outraged on previous occasions when Sterling’s racism let itself be known.
I think I can answer that one: it’s because, when you actually hear the words coming out of the guy’s mouth, it sort of drives the point home.
But I get where Kareem is coming from. And I agree with him. There’s more to this than just Donald Sterling. So while we’re wailing away at Donald Sterling, let’s not forget where Donald Sterling came from.
Let’s not forget that without a whole diseased culture behind him, Donald Sterling could not have existed.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, shooting sky hooks of truth once again. And now I feel like watching Airplane!