By Dave Jenkins
Special to Inside The Pew
Mr. Sterling in one voice recording managed to insult, demean, and marginalize three groups of people.
One group of people he disrespected where the players on the team. Not just the ones that are currently on the team, but any future players, Black or non-Black. When Mr. Sterling states that he gives them food and money for cars, he is negating the fact that these players were not given anything, but earn it on the basketball court. They earned it from the long hours of practice and sacrifice to develop themselves into top level athletes who can easily do what most of us, including Mr. Sterling, can only dream that we can do. Maybe we should look at how much money the U.S. government gave Mr. Sterling in the form of tax abatements and write-offs that allow him to have a net worth of over $10 billion. The Bible says that a man’s gift will make room for him. These athletes have worked hard so that their gifts can get them into the NBA and earn commercial endorsements.
The other group of people Mr. Sterling impacted was NBA fans everywhere and Los Angeles Clippers fans in particular. For Clippers fans, the experience of a playoff run was overs-shadowed and tainted by the words of Mr. Sterling. This year, the Clippers have a legitimate shot at going deep into the playoffs. However, Mr. Sterling comments have removed the spotlight from the hardwood court and placed the attention in the public court of opinion. It was to the point that the opposing team, Golden State Warriors, seriously considered not playing Game 5 of the series. Can you image the aftershocks in the sporting world if the Warriors had boycotted the game? If the boycott had occurred you can truly say that the Warriors understood Proverbs 17:17: “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Mr. Sterling’s comments have also insulted women. I am not going to address the motives of why his girlfriend recorded the conversation, but it is evident that Mr. Sterling has control issues when it comes to women. A man has to be very insecure to want to control who a woman communicates with and at what level, even to the point of trying to determine who she can be seen with and where. Women are not objects to be controlled, but people with their own thoughts and goals. As a man, you have to be comfortable with your relationship with a woman, in order for both of you to enjoy what you have. If a man has to control every aspect of a relationship, then affection has been replaced by contractual agreement, Song of Solomon 1:16: “My beloved is mine, and I am his …”
Dave Jenkins is an ordained minister and leadership and relationship teacher. Jenkins, a former chaplain for the Allen (Texas) Police Department, is a graduate of Grambling State University in Grambling, La., and earned a master’s of Christian leadership from Criswell College in Dallas. He also received advanced counseling training from Amberton University. Jenkins and his wife, Phyllis, are hosts of their own weekly family relationships show, “Marriage Monday,” on KGGR 1040 at 5 p.m. CST. Follow him on Twitter at @IamDaveJenkins and “like” him on Facebook (IamDaveJenkinsJr). Learn more about his ministry at www.davejenkinsjr.com.