Man, I Blew That

Just watched a back episode of Real Time where Maher interviewed Kareem, and after watching the interview, all I could think was “Man, I’m a reactionary asshole with a short fuse.” I still find the quotes I highlighted to be obnoxious and offensive and bordering on slut shaming when the real issue should be Sterling, but after I saw the piece on Real Time, I re-read the whole piece, and holy shit, talk about missing the forest for the trees. Sorry Kareem, I’m a dick.

One thing that I will still state bothers me about the whole Sterling thing is that this guy is a lifelong asshole, but he is still a successful businessman. At what point does your racism trump your business instincts? If I was an NBA owner, in Los Angeles, there would be NO ONE I would want sitting courtside with me and my gf more than Magic. It’s fucking Magic. Mr. Laker. And he’s at a Clippers game. How could this be bad for your bottom line?






69 replies
  1. 1
    Anne Laurie says:

    … all I could think was “Man, I’m a reactionary asshole with a short fuse.”

    Yes, sweetie.

    But you’re getting better… baby steps, baby steps!

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This is why I respect you so much, John. You will admit to being wrong, and do so in a spectacular fashion that allows no one to question the sincerity of your admission.

    How could this be bad for your bottom line?

    Sometimes one’s emotional reaction overrides even the Ferengi greed instinct. Shocking, I know, but true.

  3. 3
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    Good for you John. When you’re wrong, it’s good to admit it.

    No only is Magic, Mr. Laker; he is also part owner of the Dodgers.

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    No only is Magic, Mr. Laker; he is also part owner of the Dodgers.

    We all have our little flaws.

  5. 5
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    So what was in the Real Time interview that caused you to change your mind? Can you provide a link or transcript?

  6. 6
    trollhattan says:

    After reading this last fall, I decided Kareem can have the floor anytime he’d like to. While written for boys, I’ll be sharing it with my daughter one day not too far off.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/n.....come-a-man

    Have not seen the Maher appearance yet so won’t try to respond to that, or his written piece on Sterling. Who remains a putz.

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Two-millyun Giants fans are NOT amused!

  8. 8
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @trollhattan: Kareem lived in the same dorm that I later lived it. They changed the configuration of the room just for him. They made the desk smaller and the bed longer. I saw his former room when I lived there, it was still the same.

  9. 9
    🌷 Martin says:

    One thing that I will still state bothers me about the whole Sterling thing is that this guy is a lifelong asshole, but he is still a successful businessman.

    Well, yeah, those almost always go together, and not just for highly successful businessmen – artists, politicians, athletes, etc.

    Being a top-rated anything usually requires a focus and dedication to that goal that necessitates being an asshole in some capacity. Steve Jobs was considered an all around nice guy that didn’t distance himself from his neighborhood, until he got to work at which point he would destroy anyone who got in his way of achieving whatever business goal was on his mind.

    I don’t think there’s any question he was a total asshole, but look at the results. I have no doubt that Obama has his asshole space as well.

    I can’t seem to find anyone demonstrating a time when Sterling wasn’t an asshole, so perhaps he’s still an exception in that manner, but I’m hard pressed to find truly successful people that aren’t assholes. Seems something of a prerequisite.

  10. 10
    Heywood J. says:

    I didn’t get the Magic hate either; why wouldn’t any LA bidnessman want Magic to show up at their place, put more asses in seats? Sterling is obviously an asshole on wheels and deserves all the punishment he’s getting, but I think at least part of Kareem’s point was that that gold-digging mistress of his is pretty awful as well, if objectively somewhat less so.

    She knew what she was hooked up with, but only when the money got cut off did she decide to teach him a lesson by selling a tape of a private conversation to a proven shithead like Harvey Levin. There’s enough hate to go around for the both of ’em.

  11. 11
    Kyle says:

    The sports team for these guys is an ego trophy, it’s not necessarily to make money. It’s for showing off and being a big shot, and indulging personal whims.
    It’s an expression of power and privilege — only the owner would get to unleash their inner asshole and to do and say whatever they feel regardless of how insane and destructive it is from a business perspective.

  12. 12
    MomSense says:

    You’re a good guy, John. We all get reactionary sometimes.

    So I fell asleep ridiculously early and now I’m wide awake.

    When I came home today I found the yard full of toy swords, bikes, roller blades, scooters, and lacrosse gear. The two older boys finished their finals and apparently once youngest came home, they crammed all the summer activities into a couple of hours. My neighbor called to tell me that at one point youngest was riding his bike with his brother on two scooters (like roller skis) hitched to the bike with a jump rope while the oldest raced them on roller blades.

    We also had another episode of youngest getting a toy stuck on the roof and throwing tons of other toys up on the roof in a futile attempt to dislodge the original toy only to end up with all the toys stuck on the roof. We’ll probably experience the stuck in a tree version of this a few times before he learns that throwing more toys at the stuck toy never works.

  13. 13
    🌷 Martin says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: We’ve got a kid almost half a foot taller than Kareem. He doesn’t fit anywhere. I’m just shy of 6′ and when I hold my hand straight up over my head, arm and fingers extended, that’s about how tall he is. Walk around like that one day and you’ll notice you hit your hand on every doorway, ceiling fan, lamp, etc. You don’t fit in a bus, a car, an elevator. Hell, the ceiling in my kitchen is only 7′ 5″ and he’s taller than that.

  14. 14
    andy says:

    Money does not care who you hate. And the more money you have the more you can let your freak flag fly- especially since money always brings with it a long long line of people pushing and shoving for the right to suck your cock and tell you all those things you like to hear.

  15. 15
    🌷 Martin says:

    @MomSense:

    We’ll probably experience the stuck in a tree version of this a few times before he learns that throwing more toys at the stuck toy never works.

    You might have that backwards. My guess is that if there was just one toy stuck on the roof you’d see it as a lesson for him and leave it up there. With all the toys up there, you’re going to go fetch them, including the first one.

    One of my work rules: many problems are too small to get other people to pay attention to a solution, so you often need to make a problem bigger in order to solve it.

  16. 16
    AxelFoley says:

    Props to you, Cole, for manning up. The world would be a better place if a lot more of us did the same when we got out of pocket.

  17. 17
    MomSense says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    One of my work rules: many problems are too small to get other people to pay attention to a solution, so you often need to make a problem bigger in order to solve it.

    Oh my, you are probably right. Knowing my kid, this is exactly what he might be doing.

  18. 18
    J R in WV says:

    Racists are crazy almost by definition. It is an irrational thing they believe, obviously they can’t help themselves. Sterling has to know in one part of his mind that Magic is famous, Mister Laker, the most beloved Laker since Jerry West, who was in some ways Mr. NBA in his day.

    But he still can’t get along with Magic, to such an extent that he has destroyed his NBA relationship. I can’t believe that any court is going to let him escape from the consequences of his bigotry. If I was a player on the Clippers, I would be hard put to play for this guy at this point in the disaster…

    I suppose they all have that competitive urge, which may well overcome their discomfort with the “boss”… which I accept. Who am I to tell those successful men what to do? Not even really a fan of their game at this point. But best wishes to them in their hard position.

  19. 19
    🌷 Martin says:

    @MomSense: He’s got middle management written all over him. My apologies.

  20. 20
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @MomSense:

    My neighbor called to tell me that at one point youngest was riding his bike with his brother on two scooters (like roller skis) hitched to the bike with a jump rope while the oldest raced them on roller blades.

    There is only one proper response to this: “Really?! SWEET! Thanks!”

  21. 21
    TheHalfrican says:

    That’s what I always found hilarious about this fiasco. Who the fuck is racist against MAGIC? Magic Johnson is arguably the most widely beloved non-polarizing black man of the past 40 years. There’s a reason Spike Lee picked HIM for that scene during Do the Right Thing. You hate Magic, you might as well hate Lou Rawls while you’re at it. Geez.

  22. 22
    Amir Khalid says:

    I found this he said/she said thing kind of funny.

    And is this old dude cool, or what? (Via Salon.)

  23. 23
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Amir Khalid: That is funny!

  24. 24
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Indeed that is the only appropriate reply!

    @Amir Khalid: That cracked me up – thanks.

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Totally OT, but did you know that Monica Wehby opposed Obamacare long before it was cool to oppose it?

    This is part of an internet/tv blitz by Monica Wehby to capture the GOP nomination to run against Jeff Merkley in November here in Oregon, which I think she probably will succeed in doing, as she seems to be the only Rethug actively advertising for the opportunity.

    Of course, Monica is too GOP-stupid to realize that opposing Obamacare has not been, and will not ever be, cool…unless it’s to demand a single payer system in its place, and Monica sure isn’t about to endorse THAT.

  26. 26
    geg6 says:

    Hmmm, I’ve done all the same things (read, watched, reread) and I still find to be a sexist asshole. Right about Sterling, but still makes me ashamed I was such a fan girl all those years ago. He can go fuck himself when talking about women. He should stick to what he knows, basketball and the racist white men who run it and just shut up about V. Stiviano or any other woman.

  27. 27
    Schlemizel says:

    Mr Sterling has a kink (ei-ei-oh)
    He wants to be cuckolded (“I don’t care who you sleep with”) It is eve possible he wants to watch his gf get it from a black man (a subgenre of the kink). He just does not want the world to think his gf might be getting it from a black man.

    Thats my theory and am sticking to it! OTOH, the man has a history of tacit behavior that went on years before this to the point of lawsuits, why is anyone surprised, why would anyone try to defend what he said given his history?

  28. 28
    El Caganer says:

    Sterling’s reaction makes perfect sense to me: he believes he’s the benevolent white guy who’s giving all those colored boys a chance to earn an honest paycheck. The idea that one of those colored boys could actually do something for him probably doesn’t even register. Total asshole, and a very creepy guy.

  29. 29

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05......html?_r=0

    ” A 2010 study found that 4 percent of a sample of corporate managers met a clinical threshold for being labeled psychopaths, compared with 1 percent for the population at large. (However, the sample was not representative, as the study’s authors have noted.) Another study concluded that the rich are more likely to lie, cheat and break the law. “

  30. 30
    Keith G says:

    Just watched a back episode of Real Time where Maher interviewed Kareem, and after watching the interview, all I could think was “Man, I’m a reactionary asshole with a short fuse.

    Not to disrupt the ongoing tongue bath, but a week ago, your Sully-like rant was immediately confronted by at least a few who pointed out the flaws in logic and directed you to reread the complete text. The question does occur: With all the available media out there and all the platforms that either showed Kareem speaking about his views or at least did some type of summary- How did you just now come to understand how foolish you were?

    Once again, outrage, no mattered how self-justified, makes humans stupid. Thanks goodness that for some it can be temporary.

  31. 31
    Betty says:

    @Amir Khalid: Thank you, Amir. Both of those links were great.

  32. 32
    cleek says:

    @Keith G:

    your Sully-like rant was immediately confronted by at least a few who pointed out the flaws in logic and directed you to reread the complete text.

    and there was no shortage of defenders of Cole’s rant, too.

  33. 33
    Ash Can says:

    Hats off to you, John. You got angry for decent (albeit erroneous) reasons, and you’re mensch enough to correct yourself and say so when you take a closer look and see the big picture. Like AxelFoley said above, the world would be a far better place if more people did this.

    And this @MomSense: cracked me right the heck up.

  34. 34
    phein39 says:

    I think you’re missing a point, JC: Sterling didn’t care if black people came to the game (as far as we know), but he didn’t want his girlfriend to bring black people to the game (which point he made over and over).

    He didn’t want his girlfriend being associated with black people, because he didn’t want people to think he had a black girlfriend. He didn’t mind having a black girlfriend, he just wanted other people to think she was a Latina.

    To me, that makes Sterling even more pathetic, and an even bigger scumbag.

  35. 35
    jonas says:

    Same reason that Woolworth’s was willing to forgo taking money from Blacks at its lunch counters. Don’t forget Sterling also didn’t want rent money from Blacks or Hispanics.

  36. 36
    hartly says:

    @geg6: Sterling doesn’t know basketball. The current success the Clippers are experiencing is an anomaly. They have been a joke for decades.

  37. 37
    different-church-lady says:

    Uh huh. And how about that whole Syria thing, eh?

  38. 38
    different-church-lady says:

    @cleek:

    and there was no shortage of defenders of Cole’s rant, too.

    My goodness, it’s almost as if there’s a variety to the stupidity here!

  39. 39
    Biscuits says:

    @MomSense:

    Boys! Strange and glorious creatures. Wait till they start driving. Mine was only three months in with his license and got a reckless driving ticket. He did learn a BIG lesson after that, thankfully. Bought his own car, pays his own very expensive insurance.

  40. 40
    Morzer says:

    I had the same experience as John, in that I read a piece talking about Kareem’s views and for the first couple of paragraphs I thought his views sounded offensive, but I persisted and after reading the whole thing his overall take on things made a lot of sense to me.

    So I guess I fit into the John Cole Liberal Fascist Reformed Jihad.

  41. 41
    different-church-lady says:

    @jonas: If I remember things correctly, he was fine with taking their money, he just wanted his buildings to be segregated properly.

  42. 42
    Someguy says:

    A lot of ball players are targeted by – let’s not gild the turd here – crazy gold diggers. .

    V. Stiviano is exactly that. Sure, it’s wonderful she helped take down a screaming racist like Sterling, but if you think she did it out of a sense of morality or progressive politics, you’re crazier than she is. If anything, what she did looks like a “burn the whole house down” sort of move to retaliate against Sterling’s estranged wife, who is trying to get back Sterling’s gifts to Stiviano via the ongoing divorce proceedings.

    My guess is Kareem is sticking up for Sterling because he’s had to deal with a lot of pressure tactics from women like her, and that a lot of his buddies who play pro ball have had to deal with it too. Not saying what Kareem is doing is right but he’s expressing sympathy since this is *precisely* the type of woman and the sort of behavior that the veterans, the league and the players association warn rookies about when they become pros. There’s irony in the 81 year old sharp elbowed slumlord businessman falling prey to the same behavior that 18 year old rookies drafted straight out of high school succumb to.

  43. 43
    kc says:

    @Someguy:

    My guess is Kareem is sticking up for Sterling because

    He’s not sticking up for Sterling! Read what he wrote.

  44. 44
    different-church-lady says:

    @kc:

    Read what he wrote.

    No, no, no, follow Cole’s example here: share your reactionary opinion now and read what he wrote next week.

  45. 45
    chopper says:

    @different-church-lady:

    What the fuck do you have against waffles? Assholes, the lot of you.

  46. 46
    Morzer says:

    @chopper:

    I just don’t like centrist bipartisan food, that’s all. You waffle-lovers are the real bigots.

  47. 47
    jonas says:

    @Someguy:

    My guess is Kareem is sticking up for Sterling because he’s had to deal with a lot of pressure tactics from women like her,

    ?? Uh, quite the opposite, actually, which was Cole’s point. What Kareem was pointing out is that everybody suddenly acted all outraged when Sterling’s girlfriend recorded him making racist statements, despite the fact that Sterling has been a well-known racist asshole for a long time (see Elgin Baylor) and nobody did anything about then. He wasn’t sticking up for Sterling, he was attacking the hypocrisy of the pro sports establishment and the NBA.

  48. 48
    Morzer says:

    @jonas:

    Absolutely true, although if you didn’t read what Kareem was saying all the way through, you might have received a somewhat less positive impression.

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @geg6: I didn’t read the part about Stiviano as Kareem saying he thought those things about her but rather he was preemptively dismissing all the arguments that Sterling’s defenders could offer. Saying, “Okay, even if all of that is true, Sterling is still a racist piece of shit.” YMMV.

  50. 50
    Chickamin Slam says:

    We still love you John Cole … and those pets too!

    Wait correct that … you suck (according to Freddie) . Get offa my lawn!

  51. 51
    Don Roszel says:

    Glad to read this post. After reading your rant against Kareem, I almost unsubscribed from your blog. I’m so glad I didn’t. It’s my go to read first thing every morning

  52. 52
    hitchhiker says:

    As to why this story gets the avalanche going while decades of documented racist policies don’t . . . uh, there are pictures.

    Pictures of a skanky old white raisin of a man sitting next to a gorgeous young woman.

    To have that image as background while the tape of said skanky old white guy waxing insane racism is irresistible media.

    It’s like that shot of Monica in her beret reaching for Bill’s hand at the rope line.

  53. 53
    Paul in KY says:

    @🌷 Martin: Interesting that I have seen no commentary on Sterling’s analysis of Isaeli racial politics (Black Jews, etc.). Wonder why that is?

  54. 54
    Paul in KY says:

    @Heywood J.: He definitely thought she was fucking him (IMO).

    He was jealous.

  55. 55
    Paul in KY says:

    @phein39: Good summation. Funny, as the only way she would be considered white was thru Michael Jackson style surgery.

    You can definiitely see her African American heritage.

  56. 56

    He’s a slumlord. His racism helped his bottom line. Hell, it was part of his business plan. *shrug*

  57. 57
    Violet says:

    Your apologies are the best, John. No question about what you think and when you say sorry you mean it.

  58. 58
    yet another jeff says:

    @Schlemizel: Yes…totally this.

    My first thought was that there was a fear of being exposed as having a cuckold kink thing going on…with that fear of being exposed being another level to the kink and what he’s actually talking about on the call. Of course, racist fucks do seem to have a lot if secret racial fetishes….

  59. 59
    Joel says:

    When your business instincts are founded in part on racism, they’re not so contradictory.

  60. 60
    EthylEster says:

    @Morzer wrote :

    …but I persisted and after reading the whole thing his overall take on things made a lot of sense to me

    Imagine that. Reflection can make a difference.

  61. 61
    Morzer says:

    @EthylEster:

    So my vampire friends tell me.

  62. 62
    Julie says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I think she probably will succeed in doing, as she seems to be the only Rethug actively advertising for the opportunity

    Maybe, but maybe not.

  63. 63
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jonas:

    He wasn’t sticking up for Sterling, he was attacking the hypocrisy of the pro sports establishment and the NBA.

    Exactly. Kareem’s biggest problem is that Sterling’s attitudes have been known for decades, but it took TMZ to get tawdry in order to get something done.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Julie: Very interesting.

    I still think that due to media saturation she’ll win the nomination, but the controversy in the article you linked will hurt her in the general.

  65. 65
    Julie says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You’re probably right. She definitely has the money advantage. Though Jason Conger might have a chance depending on turn-out in the primary. It will be really interesting to watch how it plays out, either way.

  66. 66
    geg6 says:

    @hartly:

    Late to reply, but I wasn’t talking about Sterling (I can see I wasn’t very clear this morning; it was before coffee). I was talking about Kareem. I think he was dick about V. Stiviano and he still is. He should just shut up about women and what he thinks he knows about other people’s relationships and talk about what he knows, which is basketball and the white racist men who run it. I’m with him 100% on those, but he doesn’t know shit about anything else he’s been spouting off about.

  67. 67

    @Keith G: Because there is a warmth and decency to the man in person that was not visible in his writing- I agreed with much of what he said in the piece, but the stuff about Stiviano set me off and I still don’t like it, but when I take that into the context of the man himself (which I didn’t fully have prior to Real Time), I just decided that even though I don’t like what he wrote there, that kind of person means no ill will and she be given the benefit of the doubt at all time.

  68. 68
    John S Roszel says:

    Yes, you really did blow it. Almost to the point of the kind of racism you were ranting against.

  69. 69
    Rex Everything says:

    “Man, I’m a reactionary asshole with a short fuse.”

    Ha ha, yeah, like that time you went ballistic on Freddie because he made a point about assholes in your commentariat that you yourself have made several times?

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