Roy Exum: Sterling ‘Not A Racist?’

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Donald Sterling, who is a heavy favorite in the early voting for the year’s Most Repulsive Person, asked the nation for forgiveness Monday night after a racist’s rant cost him the ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team. The problem remaining is that, at age 80, current mortality tables indicate the one-time lawyer will never outdistance the scurrilous life he has lived for so many well-documented years.

Appearing with Anderson Cooper on CNN, Sterling spouted, “I’m a good member who made a mistake and I’m apologizing and asking for forgiveness. Am I entitled to one mistake, after 35 years? I mean, I love (the NBA), I love my partners. Am I entitled to one mistake? It’s a terrible mistake, and I’ll never do it again.”

Sterling told Cooper, “I’m not a racist. I’m here to apologize,” and when the news reporter asked Sterling what took him so long, this after the NBA has booted him from its ranks, Sterling said, “The reason it’s hard for me, very hard for me, is that I’m wrong. I caused the problem. I don’t know how to correct it.”

While the NBA has banned him for life and levied a $2.5 million fine, his family has turned against him and publicly blamed the patriarch for the overdose death of his 32-year-old son last year. It is also reported Sterling has cancer.

* * *

Did you notice that not one player from the University of Texas was picked in the recent NFL draft? That hasn’t happened since 1937.

* * *

I think it is sad that the city of East Ridge is considering a ban on electronic cigarettes, which emit vapor rather than smoke. All that knee-jerk reactions do is kick people and prudent minds never rush to judgment until scientific evidence can be obtained.

Here’s another gripe -- I attended church Sunday where a loving, all-inclusive greeting was part of the welcoming process … (drum roll) … on its smoke-free campus. Admittedly, I smoke cigars and am constantly on guard that my open-air smoke may offend others so I abstain at church. Then again, I left three delicious Hoyo Montereys under the preacher’s windshield wiper and I’ll guarantee that he enjoys them as much as I do.

Ain’t it awful? The crazy zealots among us are having a jolly good time in their efforts to force smoke-free salvation on an estimated 42.1 million people, or 18.1 percent of all adults (aged 18 years or older), in the United States who enjoy tobacco. The last laugh? Folks who smoke will simply go to another church.

* * *

After years of bemoaning the fact our best citizens never seem to run for public office, I am thrilled beyond measure that Signal Mountain’s Patsy Hazlewood will announce her campaign team today in her attempt to run for a seat on the State Legislature.

Patsy, who had a stellar career with BellSouth and AT&T, has been a tireless worker in our community and has the first-hand knowledge of what it takes to accomplish anything! She has served as the president of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau and – most recently – managed economic development for the state in our 10-county southeastern region.

She will be one of the best representatives of District 27 ever if she is elected – I’ll guarantee it – and is exactly the caliber of person that is so desperately needed in politics right now.

* * *

On Monday I wrote that Lizzy Cheek, who directs the heart-tugging Double-G Ranch for Orange Grove clients and other physically/emotional challenged campers, was being forced to tell some who have attended for years that they would be turned away after scholarship monies haven’t been forthcoming.

Whoa, get this! By noon yesterday there were already glorious promises that several full scholarships ($500 each) will be funded by the end of the week and that any gifts, from $1 and up, will be combined to allow others to have one God-sent week in the sun.

Anyone who wants to take part in our one-week miracle should send tax-free donations to The Orange Grove Center, 615 Derby Street, Chattanooga, TN 37404. Please designate the gifts to “GG Ranch Scholarship Fund” and mark the envelopes “Attn: Lizzy Cheek.”

Would it help you to know some of the kids have already got their duffel bags packed?

royexum@aol.com



Why Oscar Brock Cares About Our Children

I have known Oscar Brock since I was one of the first females to join the Jaycees. Chattanooga is very lucky to have him as a concerned citizen. When I first joined the Jaycees, I wanted to do more for the community.  Oscar has taken that desire and surpassed anything I could ever imagine. He continues to strive for the underdog and do what is right. He is always willing to ... (click for more)

Backing Vince Dean For Criminal Court Clerk

I have known Vince Dean for over 30 years and served with him throughout his exemplary career with the Chattanooga Police Department. In all of my commands, he was an invaluable asset, not only to me as a trusted and extremely competent subordinate but to the department and the City as a true professional. His public service also extended to the City of East Ridge and the State ... (click for more)

County Commission Chairmanship Up For Grabs After Exit Of Henry, Skillern

The chairmanship of the County Commission is up for grabs after the exit of two commissioners who have held the post in recent years. Larry Henry is moving on to serve as Circuit Court clerk. Fred Skillern was upset by Randy Fairbanks in the Republican primary. Most of the returning commissioners have their eye on the possibility of taking over as chairman, or at least getting ... (click for more)

PAST Act On Horse Abuse Stalls Out In U.S. House Despite 70% Support

Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, issued the following statement today regarding the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518:   “I regret to inform you that Speaker of the House, John Boehner, currently refuses  to bring the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to the floor for a vote.  His decision ... (click for more)

Jones, Vols Meet The Press A Day Before Fall Football Begins

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- What did  Butch Jones  have to say about Tennessee’s 2014 football team on the eve of the Vols' first practice? Find out in this transcript of Thursday’s press conference:  HEAD COACH BUTCH JONES (Opening Statement) "It's great to see everyone, and I hope everyone had a great summer. We will hold an open practice on Saturday ... (click for more)

Jane Webb Is A Fun-Loving Runner At Heart

Jane Webb isn’t one of those people who started running when she was a kid, but she loves the benefits since she restarted her running career about four years ago. She’s all about being active and doing things that are good for you,   but long-distance running never really captured her attention and she’s found that she can receive the same payoff by covering ... (click for more)