On Tuesday, as NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced a lifetime ban against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling based on private racist comments he made to his girlfriend, director Spike Lee sat in the front row.
Lee now works for SiriusXM NBA Radio – an outlet run by the NBA. Lee’s racial history is pockmarked with ugly racial comments. In February, Lee complained about the gentrification of Harlem in racial terms, telling an audience questioner who praised changes to the neighborhood, “Let me just kill you right now.” He continued, “Have you seen Fort Greene Park in the morning? It’s like the mother*****’ Westminster Dog Show….When you see white mothers pushing their babies in strollers, three o’clock in the morning on 125th Street, that must tell you something.”
After the Trayvon Martin shooting, Lee posted the address of George Zimmerman’s parents on Twitter. After visiting South Africa in the early 1990s, he stated, “I seriously wanted to pick up a gun and shoot whites. The only way to resolve matters is by bloodshed.”
And he says this of interracial couples: “I give interracial couples a look. Daggers. They get uncomfortable when they see me on the street.”
Lee has starred in NBA commercials, now stars on their radio station on SiriusXM, and is apparently the perfect person for a front-row seat about punishing racism in the NBA.