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Today, the readers have their say

05/02/2014, 12:00am EDT
By DAVE HACKENBERG BLADE SPORTS COLUMNIST
Today, the readers have their say

The readers get their say today.

No love letters, just Dear Doofus letters, after a recent column about Adam Silver and Donald Sterling and another regarding Jim Tressel as a potential university president:

Hey Hack: Now we have the thought police, huh? Mr. Silver uses what should have been a private message/​recording and determines Sterling is a racist. You call him a festering sore. Silver is going to force him to sell the Los Angeles Clippers? I see trouble with this, the main one, of course, being the First Amendment. (Signed) Kent.

Sir: Now that the sports media went nuts over the Sterling recording and embellished their descriptions of Sterling as to rile everyone into a Salem witch trial, what kind of standard has Silver really set for the rest of the league? I heard the recording, it’s clear [Sterling] doesn’t like blacks … If you go into the inner city don’t you know how many there don’t like white people? And most of the NBA players come from the inner cities … Most sports writers are college educated and mix with their college educated friends. Perhaps their ‘over the top’ outrage has to do with white guilt or sucking up to black athletes so as to not alienate them. (Signed) Steve.

Dave: Because “there is no room for a racist in its midst,” how would you plan to get rid of any others who have not expressed themselves? Or, are you naïve enough to believe Sterling is alone? (Signed) Tom.

Mr. Hackenberg: What happened to Freedom of Speech? (Signed) Gwen.

The First Amendment, which includes Freedom of Speech, protects Sterling from the government, not from the NBA. If you, for example, have an anti-gay bias that becomes public knowledge, the government can’t object, but the people who sign your paycheck might. Silver, the NBA commissioner, had to distance the league, whose players are 75 percent black, from a team owner who insulted them. Silver’s action was a no-brainer.

Am I naïve enough to believe Sterling is alone on the island? No, sadly, he’s not. But he got caught.

I’d write more, but I have to go meet some outraged white college friends for martinis.

David: So letters are slow these days? Regarding Jim Tressel as a finalist at the University of Akron, you forget that what the greater community of scholars thinks may have some effect on the future of any university. And presidents leave lasting imprints based on their genius and stupidity. Funds in are only half the story. Funds out mean programs that educate students, effect economies, and maintain American strength … An institution is what it looks like, and the academic presence in the president’s office has a lot to do with that. (Signed) Doug.

Hack: Have you been smoking that medical marijuana to relieve the stress of deadlines? Besides the debacle at OSU, Jim Tressel has zero experience in higher education. There is more to running a university than messaging the rich alumni. (Signed) George.

Regarding “Why not Tressel?” NOT. He knowingly cheated! He doesn’t deserve the honor or responsibility of a college presidency. (Signed) Carol.

Well, yes, there is that, Carol, and you concisely pointed out what several other readers said in emails.

George suggests wacky tobaccy as my excuse for missing points like those raised by Doug. I didn’t hear from anyone who agreed that The Vest deserved this chance. Could it be I was actually wrong? Shocking!

Contact Blade sports columnist Dave Hackenberg at: dhack@theblade.com or 419-724-6398.

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