On Monday's radio program, Pat and Stu went through the “abhorrent” and racist audio that allegedly features Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. In the audio obtained by celebrity-gossip website TMZ and Deadspin, Sterling repeatedly asks his girlfriend V. Stiviano, who is both black and Mexican, why she posts pictures of herself online with “minorities” like NBA legend Magic Johnson and instructs her “not to bring [black people] to [his] games.”
Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming reaction to this audio has been that Sterling has no business in the NBA. Some have called for fans to consider boycotting the Clippers remaining playoff games. Magic Johnson, for example, vowed to never attend another Clippers game while Sterling is at the helm. But others are demanding the NBA forcibly remove Sterling from his post.
While Sterling’s viewpoints are particularly alarming given the racial demographics of the NBA, does the league really want to set a precedent of forcing out individuals who make offensive comments in private conversations? It certainly seems like a slippery slope.
On radio this morning, Glenn offered his thoughts on the story. Al Sharpton joined the crowd calling for Sterling’s head – threatening to organize a boycott if the NBA does not oust the owner. But Glenn explained why we do not need “Al Sharpton and the fascist parade” to “drum people out of business.”
TMZ Sports got an exclusive comment from Sharpton on Sunday in regards to the Sterling controversy. Sharpton said he is planning on contacting the NBA's major advertisers to get them to pull their sponsorship if the league does not take immediate action. Since Sterling has not denied that the man in the audio is him, Sharpton does not think there should be a lengthy investigation process.
“He has not said it's not him in the tape. What does that investigate? He should be suspended immediately. Let's quit stalling. Let’s quit copping out, NBA. Let him go,” Sharpton said. “If not, tomorrow morning, I'm starting to call major advertisers saying they should withdraw advertising with the Clippers. You cannot run a major business in this country and expect people to buy from you, if you are an advertising sponsor of bigotry… Tomorrow morning, I’ll be on the phone with CEOs of major advertisers. That's our next front. That's how we got rid of Imus, with advertisers.”
Watch Sharpton’s full remarks to TMZ below:
Considering Imus is back on the radio and also has a national television show, Sharpton’s boycott might not have had the long-term impact he hoped for. Regardless, Glenn agrees there is no two ways about the fact that Sterling is “a dirtbag.” Furthermore, if he were an NBA advertiser, he would not hesitate to pull his promotion – but not because Al Sharpton told him to. On the flip side, he would not fault advertisers who do not choose disassociate with the team.
“Sterling is a very bad man. A total and complete racist and dirtbag. I don't think there's anybody within the sound of my voice that disagrees,” Glenn said. “[But] we don't need Al Sharpton and the fascist parade to drum people out of business… As a company, if I happened to be advertising with the Clippers, I would pull my advertising. But that's not because Al Sharpton is going to call me up.”
“On the other side, if you are a company and you say advertising is caving for the Clippers, and they're now having to sell their billboards and everything else for half the price and people are still showing up: I'm not endorsing Sterling. I want to reach eyeballs that will see my ads,” he continued. “So if they decide that they do want to do it, it has nothing to do with him. It's the system works it out. This is what the invisible hand of the market is… We don't need a fascist to come out and say, ‘I'm going to tell you what should be done,’ and ‘I'm going to drum people out of business.’”
Ultimately, Glenn believes NBA advertisers will have to make the best decision for their businesses regardless of Sharpton and other big government progressive voices might threaten.
“What Al Sharpton does is destroys the free market. He destroys jobs because all these people advertise on shows that nobody's watching but have the Al Sharpton seal of approval, the progressive seal of approval. So they don't reach their customers,” Glenn concluded. “As an advertiser, I want to reach my customers… So I will do what I think I have to do to reach my customers, but also to have a soul at the end of the day. I'm really bothered by [Sterling], but you make your own decisions. That's the way the country is supposed to work. That's the invisible hand of the free market.”