Charles Barkley understands the whole picture, and why the NBA players should boycott

If you haven't heard, Donald Sterling, the owner of the NBA team the Los Angeles Clippers allegedly said some pretty horrible and racist things a few days ago. Because of this incident, this brought up his long history of discrimination against minorities in the past. I'll let you read the article instead of reiterating them here if you're interested.

All that I hear from the media is headlines about Sterling being a racist, or interviews to current and former players about the racist comments that were made. While it's semi-interesting to hear how the players feel about the situation (spoiler alert: everyone is pissed off and doesn't condone it). I find it kind of funny when I turn to Charles Barkley, the NBA Analyst and former player when I think that he's the only one that's getting the bigger picture here.

I typically think of Charles Barkley as one of the court jesters of the half time show. He's not the best speaker, he kind of mumbles a lot (just google the word "turrible" for proof), but he's sort of entertaining to laugh at sometimes. (Full Disclosure: Maybe I'm a little bitter that he always hated on my favorite team for decades. Go Warriors!) So I was a little surprised that he was the only one that had a response like this:

"If someone wants to be racist, fine. That's their thing. When you're in a position of power, and you can take jobs and economic opportunities from people, that's what crosses the line. We can't have an NBA owner discriminating against a league."

Being someone who has been bullied at work, I know it's a terrible thing, and I completely agree with Charles in this case. This isn't necessarily a racism thing, this is a human thing. You can't treat other people poorly because you are in a position of power over them, that's the bigger picture of what's wrong here.

I have a feeling that the NBA ownership will not want another owner with such a negative reputation around. There will be a lot of pressure from everyone to make him sell his team, including players eventually refusing to play for him as an owner. I'm don't know what the bylaws of the NBA are and I don't believe they can force him to sell the team, but I think that if everyone shows solidarity and support that his actions will not be tolerated then he will want to sell the team to a new owner.

I know that the players don't want to walkout on the playoffs to protest because they love the game so much, but I think that if they did it would make a powerful statement that would be so much bigger than any of them realize. It would raise awareness that they were willing to put the possibility of an NBA title on hold and forfeit a lot of money because they refused to let someone discriminate against them. Think about it, if the playoffs as a whole just stopped out of protest, all of the owners would lose a LOT of money. Some of the players would no doubt lose money from this but it would make global headlines that no one would forget.

So far this has made national headlines because of all of the negativity and ugliness of what has happened, but if there was a player boycott then the headlines would start sending a positive message that people can fight back. And in the end I'm sure that the players would win the battle since the NBA does not work without the players.

I may be a little pre-emptive here with suggesting a boycott. The NBA commissioner is set to speak later today about how the NBA will handle the matter, but honestly I think they can only do so much and it will be up to the players and other owners to set the tone. So we'll have to see how things pan out over the next few days.

Unfortunately workplace discrimination, bullying or any other type of inequality, exists all over the world today, and it's probably more prevalent than you might think. According to the 2010 census data the pay gap between genders is almost 20%, and the gap widens as the total pay increases.

I've written before about my personal experiences with this, but here are a few other tips I would like to bring up if you ever happen to be in a situation like this. The first thing is to know that it's not your fault that you are in the situation you are in. If it's a bullying situation then try to talk to the Human Resources department or someone higher up. If your complaints are not being taken seriously speak to a professional, or even just a friend that you think will listen and help you to decide what's best for you.

As far as I know I have never been in a situation at work where I was discriminated against. Then again, I could possibly be getting paid much less than I should be and wouldn't know it. But I think that the best way to get paid what you think you're worth is to just be so damn good at what you do that you command what you deserve. Making the thought of you leaving the company so hurtful that they want to make you happy to keep you there.

It should not be tolerated. People should treat others the way that they want to be treated. It's a simple concept. People that don't want to treat others that way should be removed from positions of power.

What do you think of this whole NBA situation? How do you think it should be handled?

Charles Barkley - Turrible

4 comments:

  1. You summed up the whole situation with these wise words: "This isn't necessarily a racism thing, this is a human thing." Great post.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Eliza. I think that having personally gone through a situation where I was bullied at work I like to highlight things like this so people take notice.

      When I went through this I looked online for help and mostly I found sites that were informative but there was no personal touch to them. It was general advise or websites that lead to personal attorneys which wasn't really what I was looking for at the time.

      I was more interested in how individuals handled it, the few stories I could find were probably more useful than the general advise.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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