Whether you’re a diehard fan of the NBA or just a casual observer whose antenna pops up come playoff time, there’s no denying that the scandal circling the Los Angeles Clippers and their owner Donald Sterling transcends typical sports radio chatter and challenges as front page news. For those who are in fact uninformed, Sterling was recorded allegedly making racist remarks about his distaste for minorities. While many speculated what members of the Clippers would do – ranging from sitting out completely to public statements – players chose to use fashion as a means of silent yet meaningful protest. Prior to Game 4 in Oakland, the entire Clippers roster met at midcourt and discarded their shooting shirts and revealed warm-ups that had been turned inside-out to hide the team’s name. Around the league, other teams like the Houston Rockets donned black wristbands as another fashion statement to allude to players insistence that Sterling be handed the harshest possible punishment by newly minted Commissioner Adam Silver.
It also begs the question, if players in the NFL banded together in support of those who want the name Redskins changed due to its equally distasteful origin, would owner Daniel Snyder finally concede? As the saying goes, “Players play, and coaches coach.” But if they don’t, or alter the appearance of business as usual, then something has to change.