Two stories had people buzzing this week. First, Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, paving the way for him to be the first out gay NFL player. However, not everyone was happy with his expression of joy. Second, most everyone was unhappy with Donald Sterling, the owner of NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers who was at the center of a racist scandal a couple of weeks ago. He’s back, and he had a few choice words for HIV/AIDS advocate and LGBT ally Magic Johnson.
Okay, maybe ’round the world’ is stretching things. It was definitely seen around the clock on ESPN’s SportsCenter! Unless you’ve been under a rock these last few months, you recognize the name Michael Sam. He was the All-American from the University of Missouri who came out just before he participated in the NFL’s scouting combine. Sam hoped to be drafted by a team, thereby making history as the first out gay man in the NFL. His dreams came true on May 10, as he was drafted in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams. He shared a happy smooch with his boyfriend, fellow Mizzou alum Vito Cammisano.
Some haters immediately took to Twitter to make their displeasure known, including Don Jones, defensive back for the Miami Dolphins. Jones was swiftly punished by the Dolphins, forced to apologize to Sam and Dolphins staff, and was fined and suspended while he undergoes sensitivity training.
Donald Sterling, the 80-year-old owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, originally made news a couple of weeks ago for chastising his “archivist” and companion, Vanessa “V” Stiviano, for her friendship with Magic Johnson and for bringing black people to Clippers games and posting photos of herself with black people on her Instagram account. These comments earned him a lifetime ban by the NBA and a caucus of the other teams’ owners are forcing Sterling to sell the team.
In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Donald Sterling attempted to ask for forgiveness and insisted he was not a racist, while also going off on a tirade against former Los Angeles Laker and NBA MVP Magic Johnson, who he believes is a bad role model because “he’s got AIDS.” Sterling also believes that Magic Johnson does not do anything positive for other people, like the black community.
Here’s the tea: Magic Johnson was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 (he does not have AIDS), and he has been an entrepreneur and philanthropist for decades. He has served on the board of the National Commission on AIDS and has spoken in front of the United Nations for World AIDS Day. He has also invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money in urban renewal strategies, to give people in America’s inner cities more job opportunities. And last but not least, Johnson has spoken out in support of gay rights and marriage equality, which impacts him personally because his own son, EJ, is gay. So…that’s what Magic has done. What has Donald Sterling done lately except run his mouth?