Our president is black. African-American artists such as Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Diddy and Rihanna are some of the highest-earning musicians on the Forbes list. Oprah is one of the most influential people in the world. Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan have been called “The Dream Team” and “America’s All-Stars.”
So when I heard the audiotape of Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist remarks to his girlfriend — a minority herself — I was in complete disbelief. As a mother to four interracial children, wife to an African-American male and an NBA supporter myself, this hit close to home. The thought that some of the wealthiest and most powerful entrepreneurs in America still believe in the segregation of people based on skin color or gender is absolutely appalling and sad to me.
When Scottie learned about the breaking news, he quickly released the following statement:
“Thanks to Adam Silver and NBA owners for standing up and making a prompt, just decision. [There is] no place for racism in basketball or anywhere in 2014.”
Scottie is a former NBA player and current team advisor, so he and I are well aware of the injustice that takes place against minorities in the workplace. This is concerning to me as a mother: The thought that one day my children could be victims of intolerant behavior — such as that of Sterling’s — makes me wonder if America is truly a country that serves justice and equality for all. I felt the need to address the issue head-on and speak on behalf of #teampippen; making it to the NBA is something people from all walks of life and varying colors and cultures dream of.
It’s important we protect our families from the all-too-common belittling and ostracizing that happens in the workforce. As a nation, it’s our responsibility to promote multicultural work environments that allow opportunities for upward mobility despite race, gender or religion. It’s not our duty to love everyone, but it is our duty to respect everyone’s right to live and let live.