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With Regard to Donald Sterling, What About the NBA's Homophobic Owner?: VIDEO

Devos

Donald Sterling worked the entire nation into a righteous anger when a recorded conversation of him making extremely racist remarks to his girlfriend was leaked to the world. It wound up costing Sterling his basketball team the L.A. Clippers, millions of dollars in fines, and being permanently banned from the NBA. Justice was served.

However, Craig Crawford at Huffington Post notes that in stark contrast to the furor over Sterling, little was said over the DeVos family, who owns the Orlando Magic, collectively donating millions to anti-gay causes. For a bonus dose of victim-blaming cruelty, patriarch Richard DeVos said of people with AIDS:

At the end of that I put in the document, it was the conclusion document from the commission, that actions have consequences and you are responsible for yours. AIDS is a disease people gain because of their actions. It wasn't like cancer.

That was said 5 years ago, and yet, crickets.

You can watch a video of Richard DeVos voicing his rationale for his opposition to gay marriage and equal rights AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. I know I'm opening a can of worms but I can't say he's entirely wrong. In this day and age, given the vast amount of research, awareness, education, and prevention methods, if you contract HIV it's likely a consequence of choosing to engage in risky behavior. That's not to say that it's always a result of risky behavior, nor does it make it any less terrible, but today's society has all but handed us the means to protect ourselves from HIV. When I hear of people contracting HIV in today's world, I tend to have far less sympathy than folks who were exposed to HIV in the 70's and 80's.

    Its really simple to avoid getting HIV: wear a condom, get yourself tested, and don't use unsterile needles.

    Posted by: DJ_Gayburn | May 2, 2014 8:24:37 AM


  2. Get back to us when condoms are 100% effective.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | May 2, 2014 8:51:09 AM


  3. HIV is primarily a sex-related disease as he says, but so what? Sex is as much a natural part of life as eating and drinking, and many, if not most, of our disease comes from those sorts of activities. Many cancers, diabetes, heart disease etc are highly correlated with decisions we make in life, just like HIV. So are many fatal accidents. The difference is these other causes of death don't allow disparaging remarks against gays.

    Posted by: Brian1 | May 2, 2014 8:59:30 AM


  4. Until being anti-gay hurts profits, don't expect the moral high road from the owners of sports team franchises.

    For all the talk of equality, it the loss of profitability that has the NBA owners working in unison to strip Sterling of his team.

    Posted by: Elsewhere1010 | May 2, 2014 9:09:48 AM


  5. Appointing this man to the AIDS commission tells us more about Ronald Reagan than anything else.

    Of course, DeVos is a Christian and has lots of gay friends, so it's okay.

    Posted by: Jay | May 2, 2014 9:26:53 AM


  6. This isn't really apples to apples here. Until the NBA is aware that they have a substantial number of gay fans, gay coaches and gay players, this won't register as an offense to their bottom line. As it did with Sterling who offended African Americans and Latino Americans, two protected classes with large, visual, well known representation in the league.

    Also, remember that Sterling settled out of court regarding his status as a slum lord in Los Angeles, and that STILL didn't register like this audio recording did! The NBA, as well as other large, established industries, don't react unless their bottom line is threatened. Let's be realistic and understand our voice won't have power until we demonstrate that we ARE fans, customers, users of their product. THEN we'll get heard and feared.

    Posted by: Princely | May 2, 2014 9:46:46 AM


  7. Andrew Sullivan is probably licking this man's boots as we speak.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | May 2, 2014 9:52:30 AM


  8. The NBA is not 80% gay.Thats why no one will make a big deal about this.You can't be caught being racist in a sport thats 80% black.

    Posted by: James | May 2, 2014 10:01:11 AM


  9. I think several of you are missing the point... it really doesn't matter how gay or not gay a business is. What matters is that, just as with Brendan Eich, society & the media doesn't correlate the prejudice & bigotry directed at minorities as equally unacceptable. That's why they would never dream of telling black people to 'calm down' or 'be gracious for the gains you have made' the same way they have of the gays. Hell, ABC even looked to Newt Gingrich for his opinion of whether Eich was overkill, b/c I guess they couldn't find a gay to make a comment anywhere in the universe!

    If you settle for less, that's exactly what you'll get. If I were a member of the NBA, I would definitely be following up with this guy.

    Posted by: pete n sfo | May 2, 2014 10:31:57 AM


  10. @ "The NBA is not 80% gay.Thats why no one will make a big deal about this.You can't be caught being racist in a sport thats 80% black."

    Interesting comment, James. But have you ever looked at the racial compostion of the NBA fans in the audiences. They're probably 90% White. NBA tickets (as in all other American pro-sports are expensive). Blacks perform, Whites spectate. It's like gladiator sh.t, aint it?

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 2, 2014 11:01:25 AM


  11. Hey Gayburn,

    What he is saying is not controversial at all.

    However, I do think it is absurd to allocate resources for curing and treating diseases based on someone's notion of morality. HIV is dangers to humanity. Period. Any disease that threatens humanity needs to have lots of resources thrown at it in the search of a vaccine, cure and treatment. Period.

    What DeVos is doing here is suggesting a "morality matrix" for which diseases get research money and which diseases don't.

    Posted by: Dan | May 2, 2014 11:28:05 AM


  12. Again, Towleroad prejudices its readers with inflamatory language about who they're reporting on (in this instance, DeVos), by saying he's donated to "anti-gay causes." DeVos is not anti-gay...he is pro-traditional marriage. That is a HUGE difference. Not, of course, to the pitchfork-wielding criers of the militant gay rights activists.

    DeVos has done more good for society with his massive philanthropy on many levels than the reporters of Towleroad could ever hope to accomplish in a lifetime. Take issue with his stance on marriage if you must, but don't refer to him as a homophobe. You don't know the man. Your bigotry is sickening.

    Posted by: Jon | May 2, 2014 11:40:35 AM


  13. Exactly. Why is homophobia, which cuts deep too, not condmned equally? No logical reasoning

    Posted by: Diane | May 2, 2014 12:11:22 PM


  14. We've been raised in a society that has conditioned us to believe ANY form of prejudice toward ANY other group but LGBt is not acceptable (and worthy of being banished for life) but homophobia is met with a "MEH" and whats worse is, self hating gay people feed into that meme

    Posted by: Klien | May 2, 2014 12:12:53 PM


  15. As a gay black man, homophobia hurts me just as much as racism. Heck, sometimes homophobia hurts MORE knowing if I experience blatant racism, the racist will be shunned. If I experience blatant homophobia, the homophobe will be congratulated for "exercising his free speech"... It's mother f-cking bull.

    Posted by: Jordan | May 2, 2014 12:16:06 PM


  16. Andrew Sullivan has been using the Eich issue to get himself booked on as many interviews as humanely possible (to plug his website, which you have to pay for, and his books) so in other words, Andrew Sullivan is using the gay community to profit from while throwing us to his conservative religious wolves.

    Posted by: Two Dads | May 2, 2014 12:18:44 PM


  17. People, the media, and even this article make it sound like Sterling is losing everything by his fine and NBA ban. He paid $12M for the Clippers and it will be worth $575M when he is forced to sell the team. Not a bad way to have "justice served".

    Posted by: Chadd | May 2, 2014 12:21:45 PM


  18. @BobbyJoe I had the unfortunate experience of meeting Andrew Sullivan at a party where he spent the first two minutes of our interaction speaking about everything wrong with the gay community (after I just introduced myself) followed by telling me how more people need Jesus in their life. I walked away feeling sorry for a man who was clearly on the verge of a mental breakdown and I still don't believe he's mentally well.

    Posted by: VOV505 | May 2, 2014 12:22:18 PM


  19. Society has provided us with multiple ways to prevent pregnancy, but women still find themselves with unwanted pregnancies sometimes. Society has provided us with ways to avoid certain kinds of cancer, but due to some very specific kinds of activities, we find ourselves facing those cancers sometimes. How is the HIV discussion any different? We face preventable illnesses sometimes because human beings are fallible, inconsistent, and highly spontaneous in our behaviors. It doesn't make us irresponsible, it makes us human beings.

    Posted by: The Milkman | May 2, 2014 1:09:24 PM


  20. Meanwhile more came out about the recording made of Sterling's conversation with his girlfriend. It seems she recorded it during a cell phone call, but claims she had permission. She then sent it to a friend for safe keeping (according to her) and the "friend" released the recording without her permission. The claim is that several recordings were sent but some didn't get delivered for some reason.

    It will get interesting if Sterling claims that permission to make the recording was never granted or that he was not informed that a recording would be made and if details showing that are not on the recording.

    Also, publishing the recording without the permission of the recording's owner is a violation of U.S. copyright law, so the "friend" could be in a heap of legal trouble.

    Posted by: Bill | May 2, 2014 1:34:36 PM


  21. Actually, cancer is often the cause of people's actions and behaviours, like smoking causing lung cancer, for example, so this guy's comment comparing [guilty] AIDS victims to [innocent] cancer victims is asinine. And I think an important point is that he said "It [AIDS] WASN'T like cancer." In other words, he is talking about the past, and when gay men were dropping like flies from AIDS related deaths without even knowing or understanding why they were sick or how to prevent it, NOT now when it could be argued that HIV is an avoidable disease through education and safer sex and/or drug use practices. Basically he's saying that simply engaging in gay sex or IV drug use is the reason people died, and deserved to die, because of their, "actions", which he clearly deems immoral. So yah, I'm outraged by his comments, especially since they were said only five years ago, when he should know better.

    Posted by: graphicjack | May 2, 2014 1:38:39 PM


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