Amy Donaldson: Clippers' response to racists remarks reminds us taking the high road is always the most healing path

Published: Sunday, April 27 2014 9:50 p.m. MDT

"Racism isn't born, it's taught. It is the refuge of ignorance and seeks to divide and destroy. The Clippers need the people, fans, and city of L.A. more then ever. The team deserves it.”

The players union, which is without an executive director, looked to Sacramento mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson to help address the matter with Silver. He called this a “defining moment” for both the league and Commissioner Silver.

The truth is life is made up of defining moments. Every time someone says something hurtful to us or someone near us, we have an opportunity to respond in a way that heals and educates. Or in a way that destroys and divides.

That’s what Jeremiah Rivers was alluding to in his message. Thankfully, Sterling’s sentiments are no longer acceptable. It’s easy to speak up and to speak out against them.

The far more difficult task is to continue to talk in productive and meaningful ways about issues that separate and scare us. And always take an opportunity to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. We’re far more likely to need support than retribution for it is in the hand of friendship that we are lifted and sustained.

If you’re wondering whether to reach out or speak up, I suggest taking a cue from a man who knows something about being a pioneer dedicated to taking the high road — Jackie Robinson.

“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion, you’re wasting your life.”

Twitter: adonsports EMAIL: adonaldson@deseretnews.com

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