The biggest question on most people’s minds after it was announced that Elgin Baylor was suing the Clippers organization on grounds of racism was, Why did he stick around for twenty-two years and continue to deal with it? And why is all of this only coming out now?
According to Elgin’s lawyers, the former exec did it so that other African-American could be given the opportunity to attain high ranking positions within the League’s power structure. From the LA Times:
“Look at the industry in which he was employed,” said [attorney Alvin Pittman]. “He was employed in an industry that had a dearth of African Americans in executive roles. Sometimes, and we have a rich history of it, of accepting victimization for a bigger cause.”
“He endured the indignities and acts of discrimination thrown his way…It doesn’t suggest he liked it. He had a cause bigger than even he and so he toughed it out.”
Whether that will fly in the court of law is anyone’s guess. Donald Sterling’s reputation in racial matters, though, isn’t exactly – ahem – sterling.
As always, stay tuned.