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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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