Tommy Lasorda was in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Tuesday, collecting an honorary degree from Northwood University with former Villanova basketball coach Rollie Massimino. No big whoop. Tommy and Rollie, getting that paper, devouring some veal parm, chattin’ about a racist basketball team owner and his former ladyfriend.
Well, just Tommy on that last one.
Via the absolutely fantastic WPBF.com:
WPBF 25 News’ Erin Guy on Tuesday spent a few minutes with Lasorda, who weighed in on the racist remarks by Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling.
“I’ve been a friend of that guy’s for 30 years,” he said. “It doesn’t surprise me that he said those things. And he shouldn’t have said it. He just hurt himself by talking too much and doing things he shouldn’t be doing.”
Lasorda also shared an unsolicited opinion on Sterling’s silly rabbit, V. Stiviano.
“And I don’t wish that girl any bad luck but I hope she gets hit with a car,” he said.
This is a story that in the wrong hands could’ve been more tragic than comical, and the author (John Wise, the station’s Digital Media Manager) elevated this story to new heights with his description of V. Stiviano. However, I feel like I’m missing out on an obvious joke and that makes me feel a tad uneasy. Silly rabbit? Like Jessica? Does V. Stiviano have an affinity for kids’ fruity breakfast cereals? Does she hop around, eat carrots, and poop little pellets all over the ground?
(Update: I was missing something — “Stiviano said she was Sterling’s personal assistant, describing herself as his “right-hand man, his wingman … his silly rabbit.”)
And what exactly is Lasorda getting at with the “doing things he shouldn’t be doing” remark? I have a couple ideas, but Wise’s story would’ve been Pulitzer-worthy if he asked one follow-up question.
Yeah, Lasorda said those all things. WPBF even posted a video.
Is the whole thing surprising? Nah. Lasorda has spent his entire life being painfully crass, and Sterling loves to rub elbows with the Los Angeles glitterati. There are surely a bunch of people like Lasorda, who call Sterling a pal while knowing full well that he’s a slumlord who happens to be one of those loud-and-proud kind of racists.
Hoping someone gets hit with a car is kind of harsh and probably goes against what Lasorda said earlier in the same sentence about not wishing “that girl any bad luck,” but there are a lot of people who find her actions somewhat distasteful. Lasorda is just taking those feelings to a new extreme by ascribing to the “snitches get stitches” philosophy.
Lasorda is 86 years old, which sounds like a semi-decent excuse until you remember that Sterling is 80 and no one’s cutting him any slack. The former Dodgers manager (and current ever-expanding Dodgers mascot) has a history of defending his racist pals, too.
Via the Los Angeles Times (April 9, 1987):
Campanis was unavailable for comment on Wednesday, but Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda, a close friend of Campanis, voiced disappointment at the decision to fire Campanis, saying that he should have been given another chance.
“It’s a shame, a crime,” Lasorda said. “I think of all the people he’s worked for and helped. He made one mistake. Why he said it, who knows? To see him go out this way. . . .
“I hope and pray that the people of America can forgive a man who made one mistake and it cost him. . . . This man is going to have to live with this for the rest of his life. It’s not the way it should have ended. The man should’ve gone out with style and class.”
Speaking of “style and class,” maybe Lasorda should take his own advice from 27 years ago and keep his desire for V. Stiviano to get maimed by an automobile to himself.