Contemplating how best to celebrate the birthday of the late, great Edward Kennedy Ellington, one of the finest composers and orchestra leaders who ever lived, one might not have considered the banning for life of a racist team-owner from attending the games of his own team, but that’s not a bad way to fête the Duke.
But that’s just what happened to Donald Sterling, franchise owner of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Clippers--that, and a $2.5 million fine, which is pretty much chicken feed to a guy who apparently gave his alleged mistress two Bentleys and a Ferrari. However, reports the Los Angeles Times, Sterling, for the time being, will get to keep ownership of the team, unless other NBA team owners find a way to force him to sell. This all stems, of course, from reports of a recorded telephone conversation that has a man alleged to be Sterling telling a female friend not to bring black people to his team’s games, despite the fact the the team comprises mostly African-American players.
It seems that if Donald Sterling had his way, his players would be in quite the same situation as the Ellington orchestra was during its residency at the Cotton Club: there to entertain an audience from whose whites-only ranks they’d be barred.