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I Played for Donald Sterling and the Clippers, Learn a Lesson, I Did

Donald Sterling recently has stunned all with his comments on black people. I played for Sterling and the Clippers back in the 1994-1995 and rarely even saw the man. To me, distancing himself is how he got away with 33 years of owning an NBA team living his bigoted and racist, unenlightened and narrow-minded life. In my opinion, an old man simply expressing himself the only way he knew...extremely skewed and certainly uninformed, therefore unfulfilled. Maybe after this wake up call, the old dog can be enlightened about life and team human race.

When I was growing up in Washington, Iowa my family earned the opportunity to have a foreign exchange student live with us for an entire year. It was during my brother Mark's senior year of high school, I was 15 years old.

Solomon Dude is a black from South Africa and was seamlessly welcomed into our family in 1985 during the height of Apartheid.  

I can't imagine what it would have been like spending a year being black in all-white Washington, Iowa coming from South Africa. He was almost the only black person in town living amongst a white, small, conservative, rural, farming community.

My hometown proudly welcomed him as if he were one of their own. The community opened their arms and embraced him; they fell in love with his big smile and knowledge beyond his years.

While Solomon lived with us, his mother died. With no father in the picture, his little brother Theo had nowhere to go. 

Without thinking twice, my family automatically went to work bringing Theo to America to live with us.  My parents went to the Governor of Iowa and asked permission to allow Theo a chance to get away from Apartheid and live safely with my family. Thankfully, they got permission.

Theo was welcomed into the Fish household and Washington, Iowa where there was overwhelming acceptance. With the human race always at the forefront, huge lessons were easily learned.

Long story shorter, Solomon finished high school, earned a degree at the University of Iowa and works in the education system in South Africa, Apartheid-free. Theo finished high school and raises his family in South Africa...teaching.

Theo and Solomon are my brothers whom happen to be black.

Now fast-forward to when I played professional basketball. I was often the white guy on many teams. With having an understanding of acceptance, it was never even an issue. I was usually accepted with open arms and honestly it was some of the most memorable years of my life, lifelong friends forever.

Donald, I was a journeyman whom made little money playing professional basketball. Yet somehow I feel richer than you ever were, or will be.

There is no room in this world for your hatred. I feel sorry for you and even sorrier if you learn nothing from life-changing mistakes.

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