Let me begin with an admission of guilt: After 25 years of boarding school life, when I run out of toothpaste, my first impulse is to call maintenance and shout, “Help!” I make no bones about it; I am soft. But even a marshmallow like me was taken aback by the self-congratulatory air of the LA Clippers, who after hearing that their owner, the morally bankrupt Donald Stirling, had made racist remarks, decided to wear their sweatshirts inside out as a sign of protest. Even if you throw in their also wearing black socks, the Clippers can hardly be accused of “Going Gandhi.”
While most fans applaud the players for their course of action, I think the Clippers missed a unique opportunity to make a statement. For example, what might have happened last Saturday when the story first broke, if as a sign of protest, the players had simply boycotted their game against the Golden State Warriors? After all, even a playoff game is just a GAME. And the fact that the players might have actually sacrificed something (their salaries), would have said something meaningful — and perhaps even memorable.
On a more practical front, consider, too, what ABC/ESPN might have done in order to fill that prime time slot. Something tells me that, given the interest in the issue, they would not have re-run “Heidi.” Just imagine how Charles Barkley might have filled 3 hours of precious airtime? Talk about “Must See TV’!
Sacrifice is something we all try to avoid, but it’s the price people pay when it comes to important moral issues. Something tells me we wouldn’t remember Rosa Parks, if she’d stayed at the back of the bus – even if she had worn her hat backwards.
Try to imagine an aging Chris Paul someday trying to explain all of this to his grandchildren, “Yes, indeed, back in ’14 when Donald Stirling said those terrible, terrible things, I wore my warm up shirt inside out!”
Can’t you just hear those kids’ saying, “Gramps, you are so ‘rad’! Some revolutionaries storm the Bastille, but you, you had the courage to head to the hosiery section at Harry Rosen!”