You’ve probably heard the name Donald Sterling tossed around a lot this past week – in fact, he was the main attraction in many late night monologues (giving a much-needed break to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie). In short, Donald was the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers since 1981, and has been the longest-tenured owner in the NBA. He’s also pretty darn racist.
Sterling was heard on a recording telling a woman identified as V. Stiviano – his girlfriend at the time – that he didn’t want her to “bring black people to his games,” including basketball legend Magic Johnson. This isn’t the first time he’s been called out for being absolutely terrible. In 2009, Sterling was sued by former longtime Clippers executive Elgin Baylor for employment discrimination on the basis of age and race. He’s going to have to really fight for his right to hold onto his team after all of these accusations. Guess who showed interest in buying the team, after Donald was given a lifetime ban? The one and only Oprah Winfrey.
According to ESPN, Oprah – alongside David Geffen and Larry Ellison – will join together in a bid to purchase the team. While Oprah would mostly be consulting, she’d do an amazing job at it. Is there anything Oprah can’t do? Here are five great reasons why we’re hoping Oprah scores the win.
1. Oprah can prove that sports aren’t just for men. There have been women who have owned NBA teams, but the number is minimal. In fact, the number of women who have owned any sports team in general has been minimal. The first female pioneer was Joan Payson who was part owner of the then New York Giants baseball team in the 1950s.
2. Oprah will make history. If her group bid is approved, she’ll be the first woman to spend an estimated combined $780 million to purchase a sports franchise. Yeah, it’s a ton of cash – but Oprah isn’t really pressed for money, and it’d be an interesting (and pretty amazing) expense.
3. According to David Geffen, Oprah wants to prove that black women are capable of doing anything they put their mind to. “She thinks it would be a great thing for an important black American to own [another] franchise,” he said to ESPN. “The team deserves a better group of owners who want to win. Larry would sooner die than fail. I would sooner die than fail. Larry’s a sportsman. We’ve talked about this for a long time. Between the three of us, we have a good shot.”
4. Oprah doesn’t give up. Did you catch the Lindsay docuseries that Oprah recently aired on her network? Sure – it probably won’t be given another season. But when Oprah got word that Lindsay was being difficult, she marched right over to her and questioned her dedication towards the program and to her own sobriety. It was awkward, but proved that Oprah isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. She’s pretty much the boss we all dream to be.
5. If any woman were to school Donald Sterling – it should be Oprah. Especially after his numerous, terrible comments about black people. Being in a position of power, as he is, he should realize that people of every race and color can be very successful in life.
Remember that lawsuit I mentioned earlier that Elgin Baylor filed? He stated that Sterling wanted to fill his team with “poor black boys from the South and a white head coach.” After a comment like that, is there anything more satisfying than a successful, smart, widely adored black woman owning the team? Especially when Oprah and her crew could probably do a better job?
Do you think Oprah would be a great choice if Donald Sterling is forced to give up the team? Who else would be a good contender?
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