Freedom Socialist editorial
Privatized sports breed bigotry
volume 35
issue 3
June 2014

Some people find it hard to believe that racism is alive and well in the USA. But thanks to Los Angeles Clippers basketball team owner Donald Sterling, little doubt remains.

Actually, any industry owned and operated by billionaires is toxic. Sterling is probably the most revolting owner — he who has made his millions as a slumlord, real estate speculator and racist, sexist lout. But the other millionaires who own and run professional sports and sit in the NBA and NFL boardrooms are just as injurious.

They personally rake in zillions from sports arenas and stadiums paid for by taxpayers. They shape policies that seriously injure players. Brain damage is a monstrous example. They get tax breaks and subsidies, just as any other big corporation, at the expense of working people whose social services fall and taxes rise. They’ve tolerated decades of racism in their sacred domains.

Public ownership of the teams, like Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers, is the sane solution. Meanwhile, hats off to the athletes who defied Sterling, the college football team at Northwestern that dared to organize a union, and all the players who have broken out of homophobic closets! Black athletes are leaders in each of these offensives.

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