Should the Clippers players boycott games in light of the allegations against Donald Sterling?
It’s a question unfairly pinned on 14 players.
Why don’t the Warriors boycott? Or any of the NBA’s other teams? After all, their owners are in business with Sterling, too.
The Clippers players are stuck either sacrificing their own professional aspirations or playing for Sterling, and there’s no easy answer to that conundrum.
Yesterday, the Clippers players balanced their competing emotions with a visual protest in Game 4 against the Warriors. They turned their warm-up shirts inside out, dumped their warm-up jerseys at mid-court and wore black socks and armbands during the game.
Other players around the league want to show their solidarity, including the Mavericks and Spurs for tonight’s Game 4. Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
“Unfortunately, we don’t have black socks right now,” Mavs forward Shawn Marion said. “We don’t wear them. We haven’t ever worn them since I’ve been here. We want to do something. We’re going to figure out something to do if we can’t get some socks.”
The Spurs wear black socks for every road game, but they could come up with another anti-Sterling gesture.
“I don’t know to what degree something like that is going to be orchestrated or done, but you can believe that all of us feel what everybody else is feeling,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “The degree to which you show that is a good question. But we all feel the same way. It’s not just inappropriate, it’s disgusting. It’s something that has to be handled. We have full faith that the NBA will react appropriately.”
Last night, the Rockets and Trail Blazers made similar gestures.
The Trail Blazers players obviously didn’t dump their warm-ups in protest of their own organization. They were just following the Clippers players’ lead and showing their support. The Rockets wear black socks with their road jerseys, anyway, but players switched to black accessories.
The NBA’s owners and Adam Silver have the most power here. It’s up to them – not the league’s players – to act.
But it’s good the players are coming together and making themselves heard, using their influences on Silver and the owners.