For What it's Worth: Manziel, Sterling, Sam & the Chiefs
I guess it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Johnny Manziel has the fastest selling jersey in the NFL. Part of that is timing, what with his being picked just four days ago, beyond that he’s simply a star---at least for now. How long he remains one is the big question moving forward. Manziel has already had way more than his allotted 15 minutes of fame, but will he ever be more famous than he is at this very moment?
I personally don’t care if I ever hear from Donald Sterling again—he said what he said about African-Americans and he has to own it. I do wonder, however, if the NBA should have the right to strip him or his family of ownership of the Clippers.
We’re, essentially, talking about the potential confiscation of a private business owned by a citizen of the United States. A citizen, by the way, who’s committed no legal crime and who, for 30 years, had good standing in the NBA.
Do advertisers have the right to disassociate themselves from Sterling? Do players and coaches have the right to boycott playing for or against the Clippers? Should Sterling feel the full force of economic backlash for his racist remarks? Certainly.
It stands to reason that the value of the Clippers would diminish if he were to retain ownership, who knows—he might not ever again find a player willing to play for him. I know the NBA is moving to keep the Clippers a viable franchise and business. The league says it can out any owner as long as it has 75 percent approval from the remaining owners. We’ll see.
Sterling made his bed, he can sleep in it—I don’t want to live in a country where racism is tolerated. But neither do I like the thought of someone having their livelihood stripped over private remarks no matter how distasteful. I mean, we’ve all have probably said things in private that we wish we hadn’t. Donald Sterling may have assaulted our senses, but he has committed no crime.
I hope that soon enough we’ll be talking about Michal Sam as a football player instead of the first openly gay football player. The oft played shot of Sam kissing his partner upon learning that he’d been drafted by the St. Louis Rams has been controversial for some, shocking for others.
I look at Sam and admire his courage; I pull for him because of it. But the end of the issue for me is whether or not he can make a contribution to the St. Louis Rams, anything else simply isn’t my business.
It’s odd to me that the Chiefs one most apparently glaring area of need in the draft is one that they didn’t address. One of two things seems to be at work here; both General Manager John Dorsey and Head Coach Andy Reid aren’t worried about their receiving corps and don’t share the concerns of many of their fans. Or they feel like they can find help elsewhere, through either a trade or the pre-season cuts of other teams.
I know that Dorsey and Reid have earned the benefit of the doubt, at least until Dwyane Bowe starts dropping passes this fall.