Matt Barnes claims Donald Sterling not the only owner with ‘good ol’ boy’ racist mentality
Matt Barnes did not hold back addressing racism in sports, guaranteeing there are a lot more Donald Sterlings than the eye test lets on. The former NBA player sat for a remote interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, assuring the former Los Angeles Clippers owner wasn’t the only owner in sports with a plantation mentality.
Rooks asked if there were other NBA owners who thought similar to Sterling, who was forced to sell his team after a racist scandal soon took over every headline in sports in April 2014.
“A lot,” said Barnes. “And not only in the NBA, in the NFL I know for sure. So it’s just — and I don’t want to give names — but there’s that ‘good ol’ boy’ group of owners that were oil and real estate guys. These guys are in their 70s, late 60s, 70s and up and that’s just how they were raised and how they were brought up. They look at players as — I didn’t want to use the term ‘slave,’ that’s harsh — but these are my—kind of like a plantation view or mentality. Like ‘these are my guys, I pay them—like Donald Sterling said: ‘I get them cars, I get them food, I get them houses.’
“But he wasn’t the only one to think like that, he’s just the only one dumb enough to get caught.”
Barnes has played in the league for 15 seasons and has seen plenty while playing for nine different NBA teams — nearly a third of the league.
The longtime NBA journeyman questioned how many owners really are there for their players, as none have made statements to really support them besides the PR salad they were forced to feed the masses:
“In particular, if you look at it, how many owners have really came out and spoke on behalf of us,” asked Barnes. “And not a generic — like [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell read off the thing and still didn’t even address the [Colin Kaepernick] situation. But how many owners have really come out and spoke on our behalf? How many of these college coaches have really come out and spoke on our behalf that ride these Black players in football and basketball to where they are the highest-paid college coaches in the country and their programs are benefitting? Not too many.”
Barnes is keenly aware of his surrounding and this interview with Rooks (which is worth a thorough listen) shines light on just that.
The plantation mentality is very much alive in professional sports and as long as that remains true, there will be those who take notice and verbalize the truth as they see it.