** NOTE: Some quoted language below may offend readers.**
I had listened to roughly eight hours of commentary on Donald Sterling and the ugly remarks he made in conversations secretly tape-recorded by his girlfriend, before I heard anyone mention a wife.
HE HAS A WIFE?
At first, I thought the topic must have changed when I left the room, but no -- the TV talking heads were still discussing Sterling advising his girlfriend to stay away from blacks.
Not only does Sterling have a wife of 50 years, but earlier this year, she sued his girlfriend, demanding the return of two Bentleys, a Ferrari, a Range Rover and a $1.8 million apartment, claiming it was bought with community property without the wife's consent.
The fact that this 80-year-old human-manatee, married with three children, has been openly consorting with prostitutes for decades does not account for 1 percent of the media's outrage against Sterling.
Wow. Cultural mores certainly do change. In 1947, it was a scandal when Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher was alleged to have been having an affair with a married actress, Laraine Day.
Durocher himself was not married, but Day, a Mormon who never smoked or drank, divorced her husband and married Durocher the day after being granted a provisional divorce decree. The divorce wasn't final, so the judge who signed the decree ordered Day and Durocher to live separately in California. (Yes, this was so long ago, the institution of marriage was still respected in California.)
And they did. She lived with her mother in Santa Monica and Durocher moved into a nearby hotel.
Yet and still, the Catholic Youth Organization withdrew its support for the Brooklyn Dodgers and advised its members to boycott the team as long as Durocher remained manager.
As CYO director Rev. Vincent J. Powell explained in a letter, Durocher was not the sort of person "we want our youth to idealize and imitate," adding that the CYO could not be "officially associated with a man who presents an example in contradiction to our moral teachings."
Durocher was suspended from the Dodgers for a year, purportedly over some long-standing gambling charges.
And that was in New York City! The reaction might have been a bit rougher in Kansas City, Mo., or Grosse Pointe, Mich.
Today, a team owner can sit with his mistress at games, give her millions of dollars in gifts, precipitate a lawsuit from the old coot's wife demanding return of their community property -- and none of that even merits a mention in the first 14 paragraphs of the scandal stories about him.