Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | racism | domestic violence | nfl | nba | sports

Lawyer: Sports Still Struggling With Racism, Domestic Violence

By    |   Monday, 08 Sep 2014 06:36 PM

Racially crude opinions from yet another NBA team owner and a mere two-game suspension for an NFL running back who punched his fiancee prove that pro sports still lags behind the rest of civilized society in handling issues of race and domestic violence, a Florida lawyer told Newsmax TV on Monday.

At the same time, criminal defense lawyer Janet Johnson told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner, the two episiodes show evidence of progress.

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Atlanta Hawks' owner Bruce Levenson turned himself in to the NBA for a 2012 e-mail he wrote calling the team's primarily black fan base an obstacle to attracting wealthier white spectators. 

Levenson apologized for the e-mail on Sunday and said he will sell his controlling stake in the franchise. Levenson had been a vocal critic of ousted Los Angeles clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was banned from basketball for racist comments recorded by his mistress.

On Monday, the Baltimore Ravens football team cut running back Ray Rice after a video surfaced of Rice punching his future wife, Janay Palmer, inside a hotel elevator. The blow knocked her unconscious.

Johnson said that the Ravens "did the right thing" by booting Rice and that Hawks' owner Levenson deserves credit for admitting to bad conduct and taking responsibility for it.
The NFL later announced it has suspended Rice indefinitely.

But Johnson said that the league still has yet to demonstrate that it's going to treat domestic abusers at least as harshly as, say, illegal drug users.

"Knocking your girlfriend out is worse than taking drugs," said Johnson. "They initially got caught up on drugs; now they have to get caught up on domestic violence."

If NFL officials are being truthful when they say they never saw the new video, it is because "they didn't want to see the video," said Johnson.

Johnson also wondered whether the Hawks' Levenson wasn't forced by some behind-the-scenes development to disclose the e-mail.

"There has to be something else going on," she said, speculating that perhaps Sterling had made good on his promise to get dirt on other team owners and that Levenson knew his e-mail was likely to become public knowledge.

Johnson said she doesn't equate Levenson with Sterling morally.

"The e-mail is not good," she said, "but it's not as awful as what Donald Sterling did."

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Racially crude opinions from yet another NBA team owner and a mere two-game suspension for an NFL running back who punched his fiancee prove that pro sports still lags behind the rest of civilized society in handling issues of race and domestic violence, a Florida lawyer told Newsmax TV on Monday.
racism, domestic violence, nfl, nba, sports
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2014-36-08
Monday, 08 Sep 2014 06:36 PM
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