Since, the Clippers owner – yes, he still holds that title for now – has remained out of the spotlight, letting his lawyers speak for him.
But Sterling showed up in a place that’s surprising only if you ignore his history of buying his way into NAACP dinners and similar efforts to let everyone know how tolerant he is.
Pastor JB Hardwick personally invited Sterling to attend the church, and says his actions were all about forgiveness.
“Stand up brother Sterling. I’m going to give you a round of applause,” Hardwick said during Sunday’s service. “We love all God’s children, regardless of your race, creed or color, and I want my friend to know we’re praying for you.”
Want to invite Sterling to your church? Seems too focused on publicity to me, though I’m not going to dig into the pastor’s intentions. Want to pray for Sterling? That’s your prerogative. Offering to give Sterling a round of applause? That would make me uncomfortable, though that too is between the pastor and his congregation.
But this type of acceptance of Sterling undermines what should be the principal issue to members of that community.
Sterling’s housing discrimination has destroyed lives. It has cost minorities money, raised crime in their neighborhoods and decreased their upward mobility.
Don’t legitimize him as someone apologetic about his words until he shows genuine remorse about his harmful actions.