Kevin Johnson's Laughable Lecture on Morality

M. Catharine Evans
We are living in a twisted world when corrupt, scandal-ridden politicians like Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Obama’s West Coast surrogate, parades in front of a microphone to lecture the country on morality. As liaison between the National Basketball Players Association and the NBA commissioner, Johnson has taken a lead role in the Donald Sterling media frenzy.

Last Sunday Johnson said that players wanted the “maximum” punishment for Sterling.

From USA Today:

The lifeblood, the spirit and the texture of everything we do is about the fans.  And when we behave and have reprehensible comments that are offensive not just to players, but to society, that’s not acceptable.  There has to be zero tolerance in that and every owner, they understand that.”

We have been taught that this is bigger than basketball – our conduct and what we do day in and day out.  It’s bigger than basketball.  We have an obligation to society.  That’s also why they’re outraged.  Because anything that taints or tarnishes this great game that we love so dearly, there is no place for that and there is a unanimous sentiment around that.

I don’t know if Johnson actually lives in a glass house but I, for one, am glad he is the one throwing stones at Sterling. Johnson’s past is riddled with allegations of misusing federal funds, fines, serious sexual misconduct with minors, and most recently failing to file timely reports in 25 cases on donations made to non-profits. Consequently, Johnson’s role as a moral leader in the Clippers circus is rich with irony and opportunity. He is the last person who should be talking about “conduct” that “tarnishes and taints” the game of basketball.

In 2012 Mayor Johnson was fined $37,500 for failing to report over $3.5 million in donations he solicited for charity organizations.

In 1997 and 2008 the former Phoenix Suns player was accused of sexual misconduct by teenage girls. Gerald Walpin, an Inspector General investigating Johnson’s alleged misuse of Americorps funds in 2008, filed a criminal referral to the U.S. Attorney after “young female members” of Johnson’s St. HOPE school relayed stories of  Johnson engaging in “improper sexual physical conduct.”  With his close friends, the Obamas, in the White House Johnson was well protected; both the Sacramento police and federal authorities declined to pursue charges against him. In 2009 Walpin was fired by the Obama administration.

The 1997 investigation involved an alleged sexual relationship with a 16-year old that occurred in 1995-1996. The teen’s statements led to a secretly taped  phone call between Johnson and the girl by the Phoenix police sex-crimes unit. In the end, Johnson allegedly paid out over $200,00- to the victim. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, after reviewing the police report,  declined to prosecute Johnson.

Johnson appears to be the perfect spokesperson for the NBA—an organization that routinely forgives violence against women.  As long as he positions himself in public as a moral authority, it should be easy to remind everyone of Walpin and his other victims.

We are living in a twisted world when corrupt, scandal-ridden politicians like Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Obama’s West Coast surrogate, parades in front of a microphone to lecture the country on morality. As liaison between the National Basketball Players Association and the NBA commissioner, Johnson has taken a lead role in the Donald Sterling media frenzy.

Last Sunday Johnson said that players wanted the “maximum” punishment for Sterling.

From USA Today:

The lifeblood, the spirit and the texture of everything we do is about the fans.  And when we behave and have reprehensible comments that are offensive not just to players, but to society, that’s not acceptable.  There has to be zero tolerance in that and every owner, they understand that.”

We have been taught that this is bigger than basketball – our conduct and what we do day in and day out.  It’s bigger than basketball.  We have an obligation to society.  That’s also why they’re outraged.  Because anything that taints or tarnishes this great game that we love so dearly, there is no place for that and there is a unanimous sentiment around that.

I don’t know if Johnson actually lives in a glass house but I, for one, am glad he is the one throwing stones at Sterling. Johnson’s past is riddled with allegations of misusing federal funds, fines, serious sexual misconduct with minors, and most recently failing to file timely reports in 25 cases on donations made to non-profits. Consequently, Johnson’s role as a moral leader in the Clippers circus is rich with irony and opportunity. He is the last person who should be talking about “conduct” that “tarnishes and taints” the game of basketball.

In 2012 Mayor Johnson was fined $37,500 for failing to report over $3.5 million in donations he solicited for charity organizations.

In 1997 and 2008 the former Phoenix Suns player was accused of sexual misconduct by teenage girls. Gerald Walpin, an Inspector General investigating Johnson’s alleged misuse of Americorps funds in 2008, filed a criminal referral to the U.S. Attorney after “young female members” of Johnson’s St. HOPE school relayed stories of  Johnson engaging in “improper sexual physical conduct.”  With his close friends, the Obamas, in the White House Johnson was well protected; both the Sacramento police and federal authorities declined to pursue charges against him. In 2009 Walpin was fired by the Obama administration.

The 1997 investigation involved an alleged sexual relationship with a 16-year old that occurred in 1995-1996. The teen’s statements led to a secretly taped  phone call between Johnson and the girl by the Phoenix police sex-crimes unit. In the end, Johnson allegedly paid out over $200,00- to the victim. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, after reviewing the police report,  declined to prosecute Johnson.

Johnson appears to be the perfect spokesperson for the NBA—an organization that routinely forgives violence against women.  As long as he positions himself in public as a moral authority, it should be easy to remind everyone of Walpin and his other victims.