Latinos vs Donald Sterling

Roberto Valdez
Roberto Valdez, Executive Director, Latino Giant Sports

Just when you thought the Donald Sterling soap opera couldn’t get any worse, last week he went on national television and added to his ignorance and racist way of thinking. Not only did Sterling say more hurtful things, especially about Magic Johnsonhe also apologized repeatedly throughout the interview, as if this was going to be enough to forget what he did and what he has said. Sorry Mr. Sterling, apologizing a million times during a nationally televised interview won’t get you out of this situation.

To take the time and analyze all of the things that Mr. Sterling has done and said wrong is really a waste of time, and honestly, something that has already been done by so many people, so let’s not do that. What I do want to talk about is how the Latino community should have a louder voice and a bigger role in this unfortunate incident and against a racist man.

Sterling made it clear about his feelings towards African-Americans in the TMZ recordingbut what we forget is that in 2006, the Department of Justice accused him of housing discrimination by refusing to rent to non-Koreans in the Koreantown section of Los Angeles County. Considering that Los Angeles County is made up of 48.2% Latinos, I’m sure Donald discriminated against some Latinos in this case and probably many other cases as well.

Because of this reason and many others, I believe that it is our responsibility, as a minority community and as Americans, to speak out and join our brothers and sisters in the African-American community to bring this man down and emphasize that this type of discrimination and racism in the United States is, and will not be tolerated, regardless of the race being targeted.

African-Americans total 76.3% of all players in the National Basketball Association (NBA).  Just because this man owns a NBA franchise, and he primarily referenced African-Americans in his recording, that doesn’t mean we should stay quiet and not lend our hand and voice.

And just like how the African-American community has offered to help Latinos to fight for issues such as immigration and education, we must make this a dual-fight as well.

Though the Latino community has been practically non-existent regarding the Donald Sterling incident, it is not too late for Latinos to speak out and share their concern. I believe that Latino athletes in the NBA and other sport franchises should speak out against Donald Sterling and his practices and viewpoints.

We need to make sure that the NBA, the entire sports industry, and the whole country understands that when a racist and discriminatory incident like this occurs to one minority community, it is happening to all of us.

Roberto Valdez is the Executive Director of Latino Giant Sports. Roberto graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Communications with a minor in Media Analysis. Mr. Valdez is a social media, marketing and public relations consultant for numerous organizations in the Washington DC area and Arizona.  He is also a sports strategist for high school, college and professional level teams.