“What the players were doing was really really dangerous.”
Its amazing how a story can captivate your attention even when the topic or genre falls outside of your normal range of interests.
Sports is one of those topics that is outside of my normal range of interests. Especially team sports.
And especially basketball. And yet, I’ve become fascinated and addicted to the series “Blackballed,” director Michael Jacob’s documentary on the 2014 NBA Playoffs, racism, Donald Sterling and the Los Angeles Clippers.
In 2014, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers was caught on tape saying that he didn’t want his girlfriend to be publicly seen with black men.
The documentary “Blackballed” unfurls the story of the next few days after the tape is released to the media, with interviews with the players, Doc Rivers the head coach who is black, and the sports reporters who covered the evolving story.
It is incredibly well done and you realize what a damned if you do damned if you don’t position the athletes were in as far as how to respond: they originally planned to boycott the remainder of the season in protest, but their coach convinced them not to throw away all that they had been working towards.
So they found another way to send a message.
I’m eight chapters in out of twelve as I write this, and chapter nine drops tomorrow. The documentary is on the streaming service Quibi, which means that all of their content is broken into chapters (or episodes) of ten minutes or less duration. What that means is that I can get in a chapter while I’m making dinner in the evening. It’s also compelling content, which means it’s hard to just watch one.