Keep your eye on the ball. As they say, always keep your eye on the ball. Note the spectacular media uproar, and lightning swift retaliation, to the intemperate words of Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers. And now we can all go back to playing the game. Yes, that is the message. But there’s more than one game going on.

How about the one being run on the thousands of Black college basketball, and football, players who make a mint for their schools and who are barred, by law, from receiving a dime? As for an education, they do not get that either. They are routinely passed in all their courses, with flying colors, though most do not even attend classes. The overwhelming majority of professional athletes are bankrupt, or in dire financial straits, within a few years of retirement. Meanwhile, millions of Black boys are hell bent on emulating them at the terrible expense of their studies and their futures.

Sterling let the cat out of the bag with his hateful remarks. NBA Commissioner Silver had to speedily make an example of him or the gig would be up. It’s doubtful the players would have gone on strike, but African Americans would slowly but surely come to see their vaunted athletes a little more than 40 million dollar slaves bought and sold on a regular basis.

In all major league sports: basketball, football, baseball, and hockey, Michael Jordan is the only person of color with a majority stake in any team. He is what is referred to as a “token,” a fig leaf of an exception to hide the naked truth of systematic exclusion. The whole “scandal” was a public relations exercise. In fact, it was a textbook case. Watch now how quickly everything dies down unless, that is, we keep our eye on the ball. Will we? ( by Arthur Lewin,, Forty Million Dollar Slaves is the name of a book by William Rhoden )