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Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 at 2:15 pm  |  86 responses

More from Elgin Baylor on Donald Sterling’s Racist Ways

It’s been pretty well established that Donald Sterling is a less-than-awesome human being, and Elgin Baylor’s latest court testimony against his old boss does nothing to change that fact. From the LA Times: “Hall of Famer and former Clippers executive Elgin Baylor  offered several instances of what he called team owner Donald Sterling’s ‘plantation mentality’ and alleged that Sterling once rejected a coaching candidate because of race, according to court documents obtained by The Times. Baylor’s contentions came under questioning from Sterling’s lawyer in a deposition in Baylor’s lawyer’s office nearly a year ago. They were contained in voluminous court documents supporting motions for summary judgment from the Clippers and the NBA … In court papers, Baylor said that Jim Brewer, then an assistant with the Clippers, wanted the chance to interview for the head coaching job after Bill Fitch was dismissed following the 1997-98 season. ‘I believe he [Sterling] was a little reluctant at first but I said, ‘We owe him that courtesy.’ So we go there and we sit down and Brewer starts talking about his qualifications, that he believed he could do the job of being the head coach,’ Baylor said in court papers. ‘And when he finished, Donald said something that was very shocking to me. He said, ‘Personally, I would like to have a white Southern coach coaching poor black players. And I was shocked. And he looked at me and said, ‘Do you think that’s a racist statement?’ I said, ‘Absolutely. That’s plantation mentality.’”

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  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Karma is a b*tch.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    If Sterling actually said that in a group setting, with African-Americans sitting there with him, he may actually be the stupidest person in the entire world.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    So why did he continue to work for them for so many years until he was FIRED? I think he is just as wrong not to stand up to Sterling.

  • HEHATEME

    He said this, He said that. Unless he had a tape recorder, sterling will just deny it.

  • The Philosopher

    Co-sign Kap:
    Sterling and Baylor are clowns.

  • JTaylor21

    Kap, how is he “just” as wrong as someone who says what Sterling said? You don’t fight fire with gasoline.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    The suit alleges Sterling once said he did not like to rent to Hispanics because they “smoke, drink and just hang around the building,” and that “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.”

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    This is a guy who changed his name to Sterling so people won’t know he’s Jewish. @JTaylor…Because after he was fired he wants to stand up and protest how racist Sterling was.

  • T-Money

    Kap: why does it matter? this trial is not about elgin’s integrity. the fact that he kept working for sterling doesn’t make sterling’s comment less depiscable. elgin was the least paid GM in the whole league, there may not have been another job out there for him. i guess timing matters in the court of public opinion but it doesn’t matter at all in a court of low. elgin has a case and he’s pushing it. good for him.

  • http://bulls.com airs

    “Do you think that’s a racist statement?”

    wtf?? how did elgin baylor not deck him in the eye?

  • The Philosopher

    Elgin done got tired, now he want to get back at “massa”.
    Got tired of working the field while everybody else gets to be in the “house”.
    What did Elgin do, suddenly have a revelation?
    Please.
    He’s been around that arena too long to just get tired of it now.
    Or was he in the house with “massa” then was told to go into the field? If that happened, then I can see why Elgin is hurt. I mean, he was in the house with “massa” eating good meat! Now he is not.
    Yeah, he’s pissed.

  • http://bulls.com airs

    @phil im not sure, but i think that last comment might catch some heat…

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    cosign airs…That comment went a little too far.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Wonder why stern never did anything about his buddy sterling. Thats right, stern is the owners b**ch.

  • BkNy

    Philosopher: I understand your POV 100 percent. It’s more than accurate. Unfortunately it describes the mentality of many of Sterling’s black employees. They don’t mind collecting checks from that scumbag, but they suddenly become socially aware when the checks stop coming. Baylor is just as bad as Sterling. He should have quit but he was gettin paid. No black person should have a problem with philosopher’s comment.

  • JTaylor21

    Nah, The Philo made a great point and that comment was gravy smothered on mash potatoes; PERFECT.

  • The Philosopher

    @Kap:
    @airs:
    If you know your history, (which I’m sure you do) then you know that that comment exudes validity, whether in its proper context, or not. (it is in its proper context, in my opinion)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    If by “gravy” you mean, ill informed, condescending, semi-racist bullsh*t, then yes, it was. Try not to choke on it.

  • CoachWalt_W

    @the Philospher ..That’s two days in a row philospher has been a little overboard with his comments, yesterday was stating “Yo, after we kill deez n*99@$, we fin da go check the Bobcats game, right? ” and asking right after the question is like you are asking black people, “Did I say it right?” Be easy fam…

  • Hammer

    Co-sign hehateme. Its all he said/she said

  • The Philosopher

    Condescending, if you are speaking from the superiority definition of the word, I will actually take that as a compliment. You know how I roll up here.
    Semi-racist?
    Better than full fledged racist. Please excuse me, for I make those comment from what I’ve experienced of my life.
    Ill informed?
    I am reading a SLAM post. I will concede to that being my latest source of information regarding this topic between those two men at this present time.
    And, I wholly respect your opinion. I’m in an euphoric state just from you responding to my comment. You do not even know.

  • Hammer

    “Sex,politics,religion and race”…

  • The Philosopher

    @CoachWalt_W:
    Meh.
    What are you a professor of Ebonics, or something? Have knowledge of all terminology and quotations “black”?
    For now on, if I want to know if I have said something the “black way”, I will certainly ask you if I “said it right”.
    Since you are so well versed in the subject, I request that you educate me.
    What is “saying it right”?
    PLEASE tell me.

  • JTaylor21

    @Myles, like BkNy said; NO black person should have problem with what the Philo said”. There wasn’t a single hint of racism in it and every thing he said was a fact or maybe you can’t handle the truth!!

  • http://bulls.com airs

    not racist is better than any racist. but im just saying, that comment seemed like some weird, internet Blackface thing.

  • The Philosopher

    Hey SLAM,
    CoachWalt_W speaks for all Black People, by the way.

  • BkNy

    I have yet to find anything racist about his comment. Sounds like someone should do a little self-reflecting. I’m always weary of people who accuse others of being racist when a person is simply discussing the blatantly racist actions/comments of another individual. He didn’t make any blanket statements about white people or Jewish people. His comment was about Sterling and Baylor.

    As far as this being he said/she said, umm years of similar accusations from multiple sources in various areas of Sterling’s business life makes this a little more than he said/she said.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Philo, it read terribly inappropriately, especially within the context of the subject.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    But I don’t think there were any underlying, “racist” tones to it.

  • T-Money

    @Philosopher: that 2:46 comment was offensive and stupid. It didn’t serve any purpose. / But tot the bigger point: why do you care about Elgin’s motives? Does it validate the way Sterling treats visible minorities working for him? Of course not. Then, what are we talking about here? I’m not saying that you’re an idiot but you sure sound like one right about now.

  • The Philosopher

    Eboy:
    I respect and appreciate that.
    I will correct that in the future.

  • BkNy

    Offensive? Why and to whom exactly? Stupid? Far from it. Accurate? Completely. I also wasn’t aware that comments here had to be tailored to T-Money’s liking in order to be considered appropriate or valid. Let that be the reason I rarely comment on this site or read comments for that matter.

  • http://bulls.com airs

    im not saying that Philo’s comment was racist, or the point that he’s trying to make is racist. but the way in which he chose make a point was distasteful and portrayed elgin baylor as a slave, which im not sure mr baylor would appreciate. i do agree that baylor totally should have spoken up much, much sooner.

  • The Philosopher

    @T-Money:
    No, it does not validate any of Sterling’s actions, unless one looks at it from a standpoint that if minorities realize that Sterling is this “racist”, then, why work for him? It places one in a vulnerable position to be exposed to racist actions by an employer. (still referencing Baylor) Then Sterling is not totally wrong, in a sense. Who is going to continually expose themselves to that unless they are eating good?
    Baylor is complaining about it now after he was placed “out of the house”. Not while he was eating the “good meat” with Sterling.
    Other people were complaining, but not Baylor.
    And, I do not care about Elgin’s motives.

  • BkNy

    Baylor was willing to put up with Sterling’s blatant racism as long as he was being paid to do it. That’s a hellava lot more distasteful than someone describing the mentality of a person who would what Baylor did. In short, who gives a shit about what Baylor would appreciate?

  • The Philosopher

    @BkNy:
    Salute.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Philo called Baylor a “house nigg@” Since I don’t know Baylor personally, I can’t assess the veracity of this statement, but given the facts, I can see why that assumption was made.
    I fully believe Donald Sterling made all the racist comments he’s accused of making since the Deparment of Justic has already proven that he likes to discriminate against minorities when renting his apartments. He doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt from me.
    So, if Baylor worked all these years for a man who actively discriminates and uses racist language, it’s reasonable to question whether Baylor saw himself as the last line of defense, or if he was perfectly comfortable hanging around “massa” as long as he was fed well.
    That’s the question everybody is asking. If Sterling was so bad, why did Baylor deal with it for so long, or why didn’t he say something BEFORE he got fired.
    Personally, I only want Baylor to win because Sterling needs to be censured and Stern refuses to do that even though Sterling settled his case about discrimination rather than fight it at trial. He basically pleaded guilty and got no punishment from the league.
    Anyway, I don’t want Baylor to get paid, but I don’t want Sterling to skate yet again.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    And yes, I know this is a civil matter. But if Stern can bring Iverson into his office to discuss a rap album, he could have called Sterling down for a chat to discuss his racism.
    Well, he could have if he was actually in charge of the entire League, and not just the frontman for the interests of its owners.

  • The Philosopher

    Good, now I can run out and take care of some outside business.
    Good sh1t, Allenp.

  • JTaylor21

    This story and trial has nothing to do with Elgin choice to continue to work for a man that was blatantly racist. Sterling’s character and ways are on trial not Elgin’s, so why are people bashing him on here. The Philo is right even though it was an assumption and he has no idea why baylor choose to stay. I can also see why baylor stayed because I would too if I had the same job and was payed the kind of money GMs make because remember Baylor last played in the 60s and it would be a safe assumption to say that the money he made from his playing days had dried out by now. So he basically had a finicial incentive to stay regardless of how his employer viewed him and his race. Remember people may not like the jobs they are in but if the pay is good they’ll stay for 20+ years.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    JTaylor
    This is a civil trial where Baylor alleges based on his personal recollections that Sterling created a hostile work environment and was a racist.
    From what we’ve seen, there are no tape recordings or racist memos and emails. There is just Baylor’s word against Sterling’s word.
    Sterling’s main defense is that Baylor was fired because he was incompetent, not because he was black. And Sterling just has to point at the team’s past decisions to generate proof of that incompetence. Baylor is going to argue that Sterling has a pattern of racism, and is probably going to try to introduce the information about his settlement with the DOJ.
    Whatever happens, the first question the jury or judge is going to ask is why Baylor would work for a racist boss for two decades and never file a formal complaint and only file a lawsuit after losing his job. That’s what people are going to wonder, and Baylor better have a damn good explanation. He can’t just skate with “Well, I needed the job”, because even though he was underpaid, he was still bringing home like $500,000. He could have earned money without working for this particular racist.

  • vtrobot

    “I’m not racist but, (insert racist statement).” Love that sh*t. Sterling is worthless. Shout out to Philo.

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    Hold on SLAM everything is not published here. You are leaving out the part where Elgin was asked if Sterling said anything racist to him, or paid Elgin less because of his race. Both of which Elgin replied “NO”. I do believe that Sterling is a shady guy, but SLAM you guys are leaving out important parts to this story, including what Elgin has said about how Sterling treated him personally.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Im just gonna co sign allenp

  • JTaylor21

    AllenP, he would have earned money but not half-a-million type money. As someone stated before it wasn’t like baylor was a hot-commodity GM like West was so to say that he could have gone to another team and made the same kind of money is wrong. The clips stunk up the joint with Baylor at the head and no team would dare take a chance with a GM with that kind of record. The clips job was the best thing going for baylor finicial wise, so I could see why he stayed there for that long. Also unlike past greats Russel and Kareem, baylor doesn’t have the championship background to become a motivational speaker and his name gets lost in the shuffle whenever past greats are mentioned. He’s not known well enough outside the basketball community to command a great deal of interest and money.

  • BkNy

    @onlyclipsfanonslam:

    So that makes Sterling less of a racist? I’m trying to find the point in your post. Our opinions of Sterling are supposed to change because of his relationship with Baylor? His seemingly decent treatment of Baylor negates everything else, and at worst he just a “shady guy”?

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    @BKNY you know nothing about the lawsuit do you? Elgin is saying it is wrongful termination because Sterling is racist. If Elgin admits Sterling never made racist comments or gestures towards Elgin, than there is a hole in his case. So now that you are informed, eat crow.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Taylor
    You’re proving Sterling’s case. If Baylor sucked and couldn’t get another job, then he wasn’t underpaid beacuse of race, he was underpaid because he was crap. That’s what I would argue if I was Sterling’s lawyer.
    Furthermore, if he is crap, then him keeping his job as long as he kept it is proof that I’m not racist because if I was a racist I would have fired an underperforming black person a long time ago and brought in a competent white person. That’s what I would argue if I was Sterling.
    Bottom line, by waiting until after he got canned, Baylor protected his money stream as long as he could, then lodged an allegation that lacks credibility because of his past decisions.
    All of his choices in this matter, like his choices as GM, have been piss poor.
    This ain’t a fairy tale, this is real life. In real life courtrooms, you don’t get to tell the opposition that the case is only about “X” particularly not in a a civil trial. That’s why celebrities avoid civil trials like the plague because all kinds of ridiculous information is going to come out as both sides try to meet the lower standard of proof in civil trials.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    Im just confused why Elgin would work for Sterling for so long after he said this. I am not going to call Elgin a liar, but i am puzzled as to why he went along with it. He obviously doesnt share Sterling’s sediment, but by continuously working with him in spite of all the terrible stuff is really making me scratch my head.

  • Kwame

    i bet sterling is the man behind the anti-lebron-campaign…

  • BkNy

    onlyclipsfanonslam: Listen up, little boy. Baylor’s lawsuit is based age and racial discrimination. He alleges that his pay was significantly lower than that of certain white employees in the organization, namely Mike Dunleavy. Now try to keep up, you seem a bit slow being a clips fan and all. Bascially it appears that he is trying to prove the race based discrimination by comparing his PAY to that of certain high-profile white employees. Do you get that? Do you get that theoretically speaking you don’t have to say racist things to an employee in order to discriminate against them concerning their compensation? Whether you think his case is strong or weak in that department is irrelevant. Now go play somewhere and let the grown-ups talk, ok?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    There are two reasons Baylor kept working.
    1. He thought he could change things and help folks out from the inside. People say he was really kind and a cool person, so maybe he, like many black people of his generation, thought it was better to get a foot in the door then wait outside.
    2. He knew Sterling was racist and didn’t care as lont as he was getting paid.
    Those are the only two reasons I can really see, anybody else got some ideas?

  • Blackphantom

    wait a minute, philosopher you’re black aren’t you?

  • The Philosopher

    @Blackphantom:
    I have never disclosed my race up here.

  • Blackphantom

    why not?

  • unrel

    Eboy 3:56/58.. pretty much sums it up about Philosopher’s statement that has upset a few people.. i don’t think he meant it to be racist or ‘blackface’ but it doesn’t read well.. that’s all.. but in the context of the story.. not sure if Phil’s opinion holds.. i don’t think EB is upset only because he’s ‘out the house’ now.. how many of us have complained more.. after we lose a job.. than during it?.. and the fact that he stuck around regardless of his racist employer doesn’t make EB just as bad.. according to this story.. he spoke out against his employer.. losing everything (quitting, etc) isn’t the only way to make a statement and stand up against ‘the man’.. because sometimes.. doing that.. just means you’re out a job..

  • Blackphantom

    Why not? This is a civilized site(I hope so). You aren’t scared or anything are you?

  • The Philosopher

    It may prompt a person or persons to think that I may have a biased view toward one way, or another way.

  • JTaylor21

    AllenP, that’s what I was getting at all along; Baylor continued to work for a racist because the money was good and no other team would hire him as a GM based on the clips incompetence under him. Also isn’t his claim of a white coach making more than him even though they were both bad at their respective job a good argument for Sterling being a racist, there’s NO way in hell that someone with baylor’s basketball background should be making less money than Mike Freaking Dunleavy. If I was Baylor’s attorney I would use that and the DOJ case as focal points of the case.

  • BkNy

    I think at best he was probably uneasy with Sterling’s racism. The checks kept coming. It may sound like I’m being pessimistic concerning Baylor but when I think about this situation I keep his age in mind. Some in his generation, because of what they were used to, wouldn’t view it exactly our way.

  • Blackphantom

    Oh, I understand. No one that isn’t racist wants to be called racist.

  • The Philosopher

    unrel:
    Respect.

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    @BKNY are you that blind. IT IS A WRONGFUL TERMINATION SUIT. This has nothing to do with what he was getting paid, or if he was underpaid because of his race. Thanks for trying to sound smart. Elgin is claiming he was terminated because Sterling had racists beliefs that Elgin couldn’t get the job done. In a “he said/he said” case, it is counter intuitive to say one acted racist toward a victim, when the victim admits there were no past racist actions the defendant displayed towards the victim. Again, you are informed, again, eat crow.

  • Mr. Robinson

    Philo, you’re a fool. LOLOl

  • BkNy

    onlyclipsfanonslam: The above claims are Elgin Baylor’s, genius, not mine. HE MADE THOSE CLAIMS. You just posted your opinion of the damn case. Nobody pays you to think and analyze (and if they do you’re lucky to have found that idiot). The “victim” claims that the acts of racism included pay discrimination. Again, since you are too dense to comprehend anything after having been informed only once, pay discrimination in and of itself is an act of racism in this case. I’m sure Baylor’s lawyer is a hellava lot more informed than you are as to how that claim can help his case if proven. Now kick rocks little guy.

  • BkNy

    Also, when ppl phrases such as “you think you’re smart” or “you are trying to sound smart” it’s usually because they have insecurities when it comes to their own level of intelligence. Based on your posts your insecurities are valid. :)

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    @BKNY you are the dense one it is a WRONGFUL TERMINATION. Now moving on, Baylor himself said, on the stand no less as it was taken from the court records, that he felt Sterling did not pay him less because of race. Now go ahead and say something in retort because you have said nothing that falsifies anything I have said. I am giving out the facts, I bet you haven’t even read the article this story is stemming from. Yes, no one pays me for my opinions, but at least I know the facts not just acting like I know.

  • BkNy

    onlyclipsfanonslam: Look Idiot, I’m not sure which article you were reading but Baylor NEVER stated that he felt he was paid less because of his race. The question was did Sterling ever TELL HIM he was paid less because of his race. Baylor replied no. Now, changing a word or two to fit your argument in and of itself is reason enough to dismiss your opinions. It is a FACT that Baylor made the claims I listed. It is a FACT that you are a fool who is either a liar or simply fails miserably at reading comprehension. Twisting words in the article only makes you look like a dumbass.

  • BkNy

    Correction: The first sentence was supposed to read: Baylor NEVER stated that he did not feel Sterling paid him less because of his race.

  • BkNy

    Correction: the first sentence was supposed to read Baylor NEVER stated that he did not feel he was being paid less because of his race.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Philosopher is a cracker

  • Blackphantom

    c’mon Tarzan chill with the racism, the racist term crack isn’t even offensive

  • Blackphantom

    *”cracker”

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    To all the people asking why he kept working for him – Elgin already explained that. Maybe instead of postulating your idiot theories you should just stop typing and do some reading. It’ll do you good and make you look less stupid.

  • MikeC.

    I’m not plugged into any inside Clippers dealings or anything, but I think Elgin was underpaid because that’s what Sterling offered him, and he accepted it. The poor performance of the teams kept Elgin from having a successful track record that he could use to leverage a better contract from another team. The Clippers have stunk for decades, and Elgin was the man that built them. He did a piss poor job building those teams, and it kept him from getting a better job. I’ve read in the past that this suit is more about age discrimination than race, despite Sterling’s checkered history and this particular article’s emphasis. Race is part of it, but the focal point of the lawsuit was age discrimination awhile back, anyway. Is it a surprise that Sterling underpaid Elgin? Not at all. The Clippers are the team that sometimes has to sign players at the end of training camp in order to get their payroll up to the league minimum. Sterling is cheap in every area imaginable.

  • PapaBearATL

    You can’t have 3 (successful) seasons in 22yrs, then pull the race card when you get canned. Especially when you depose that nothing was racially done to you by Sterling or the Clippers franchise. I think the Clippers organization has been very good to Elgin Baylor, most GM’s would not have lasted that long with his record of success or lack thereof. Is Sterling a rascist or racially insensitive, probably. Did he ever take that position with Elgin Baylor? “Not that I recall” is the response, everything else is moot.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    PapaBearATL is making a whole lot of sense right now.. Although heck, if Sterling gets punished the pr!ck deserves it.

  • PapaBearATL

    GM’s don’t answer ads in the paper. He was offered a job, he accepted the job at that pay. If you are the owner and your GM is not winning consistently, would you give him/her a raise? Aren’t raises usually performance based, whether its a nickle an hour at McD’s or a GM contract? We, as a society, need to be held accountable for our actions and quit pushing the responsibilty off on other people even if the other people suck as an owner and person in general. Litigation like this lessen’s the moral and ethical impact of people actually affected by age and race discrimination.

  • http://www.lebronswitness.wordpress.com lebronswitness

    this is a weird ass story haha

  • MikeC.

    Things get awfully quiet around here when there’s a good game on TV. It’s almost as if we all spend our days on here talking ish and avoiding work. Sound familiar to anyone?

  • hushabomb

    If there was any reason for the Commish to cut back teams, here’s a prime example why. They are the biggest joke in the league and with 1) A racist owner 2) Bad free agents (B Diddy) 3) Nearly 20 plus years of mediocrity.

    David Stern, rid this cancer out of your league and disperse the players. And never let Donald Sterling own another team ever again!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://bulls.com airs

    peace and love, everyone!

  • Rikson

    Pay discrimination..?! Wtf! Why take the job with that “low” wage in the first place..?this really stinks!

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    In Donald Sterling’s future memoirs, he will refer to Baylor calling him a racist as “the low point of his presidency.”

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Ugh
    Just because somebody said something doesn’t make it true.
    OnlyClipsFan
    Yeah, bKNy is right, you made some stuff up to suit your argument. The lawyer asked Baylor if Sterling ever made a racist remark to him, or if Sterling ever TOLD him that he was paid less because he’s black. Big difference from asking if Baylor thought he was paid less because he was black. A massive HUGE difference.

  • Andrew

    Of course, none of what you cite was “court testimony”. It was a press conference where he reiterated his lawyers allegations.

    These allegations were so weak that he had to drop the race discrimination claim on the eve of trial before the judge threw it out.

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