Thursday, May 1, 2014

By Jamaal Ryan

The mainstream news outlets have been obsessed with – soon to be former Clippers owner – Donald Sterling who was tape recorded making racially charged remarks regarding his girlfriend associating with Blacks publically on Instagram. After the NBA commissioner Adam Silver brought down swift punishment on Sterling, banned from life from all Clippers events and fined 2.5 million, Turtle Rock’s community manager Josh Olin Tweeted this: “Here's an unpopular opinion: Donald Sterling has the right as an American to be an old bigot in the security of his own home. He's a victim.” To get a sense of where he’s coming from, here’s the full recording with text of the recorded conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend:

I’m not going to get into the debate of the scandal in and of itself since it truly is a divisive topic, but yet again, this is another example of poor PR awareness by a member of the industry. From Phil Fish to Adam Orth, public figures in the industry – or at least members of public entities in the industry – must be aware and pick their words wisely on the internet. In an attempt to clear up collateral damage, Olin stated this:

“Anyone who follows me knows my tweets were not in support of Sterling's actions. Rather, they were promoting three core tenets I believe in: 1) The harm sensational media presents to society. 2) The importance and sanctity of your privacy within your own home. And 3) The right to be whatever you want to be as an American, as long as it isn't hurting anyone else. That last point not to be confused with condoning Sterling's actions, which I don't.

Sorry Olin, but this comes with the territory. In an industry whose fan base is so well in tuned with the internet and social media, none can afford to express statements without careful consideration of public perception.

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