Donald Sterling paid $12.5 million for the Los Angeles Clippers and may receive a healthy portion of a cashier's check worth over $2 billion from Steve Ballmer, ex-CEO of Microsoft, as well as monetary damages from a lawsuit filed against the NBA. Not a bad payday for uttering infective racist remarks for all the world to hear.
But the money exchanged between these billionaires is not the issue. Ballmer's net worth exceeds $20 billion, No. 32 on the Forbes 400. His dalliance in buying this basketball team dwarfs his most generous philanthropic contribution to date, $10 million to assist poverty-ridden children in the region. Compared to Bill Gates, his magnanimous gesture is molecular in size, but this still is not the issue. Two billion dollars for a basketball team when children go to bed without a meal, when they rise in the morning to face another daunting day ahead, to arrive at poorly funded, crumbling schools with overworked and underpaid teachers and no computers to use Mr. Ballmer's software, the presence of which could make or break the promise of future careers of so many?
Have we converted "March Madness" to unbridled insanity with our obsessive, compulsive indulgence in all professional sports while stripping the country of our most valuable resource? Indeed, that is the issue.
James D. Cook