Ronan Farrow Daily | April 30, 2014
>>> now, turning to the nba story that's at the heart of all those headlines today , at the center, of course, is the woman who said she made those audio recordings of donald sterling . vi stiviano emerged from her apartment yesterday wearing roller skates . the only word from her attorney was, quote, it wasn't her fault that the tapes got out. she never wanted that. she is a private person. she just wants to be left alone and she thinks she has been treated very unfairly by the media. hence the roller skates , i guess. who exactly is vi stiviano? are money and sex inextricably intwined in the high stakes big money world of sports like professional basketball ? joining me here for a look is crystal mckrarry, director of little ballers. author of " home court advantage ." she also happens to be the ex-wife of nba player greg anthony . she knows the nba both as a family and as a brand. also remotely from washington is " washington post " columnist ruth marcus . who's column today emphasizes that relationship.
>> i had great material to work with.
>> great material you're working with here. to listen to the taped conversation between the octogenarian owner and the 30 something v.stiviano is to glimpse the tawdry and inherentry arrangement between, well, let's put it primly, benefit and recipient.
>> some people how you respond to that depends on maybe partly what your gender is or partly what your perceptions are. it's been incredibly well read. i've been reading some of the comments.
>> are you finding women are angry at that characterization at all?
>> i don't think so. and it maybe depends on whether you identify with -- i don't really want to say identify with the wronged wife. because she sort of has her own role in all of this. i think what's interesting to me about this story is we all sort of looked at that picture, right? we understood what we thought was going on here. and my initial reaction was, look, both sides in this transaction knew what it was all about. they were both getting what they wanted. in some sense getting what they deserved. when i listened to the tapes, i think i was really struck by the degree to which v.stiviano was just so degraded and degrading herself in order to, it seemed to me, at least, even as the tape was rolling, she seemed really eager to keep this relationship rolling.
>> let's get a firsthand take on that from crystal. you see a very different side of the nba . you were in that community. i don't know whether you found it exemployee taytive or not. you certainly have highlighted in some of your comments on this the positive side. tell us about that.
>> first of all, i look at the nba and professional basketball from a very different perspective. right now having worked with nba players in my documentary "little ballers" as well as little boys that look at nba as something that is aspirational and something that is hopeful, i see a very different perspective. i also see the brand that david stern spent 30-plus years building. and that silver has come onboard and sees the same value in it. which is why they so swiftly acted in banning sterling for life. so i don't see the perspective of the owner who is, you know, cheating on his wife. that's not the experience that i have. what i'm struck by in this is how these comments that sterling has made is affecting so many youth. i look at my 13-year-old son who plays professional basketball . for him it offers hope. for his teammates and for little boys and girls across the country, the nba stars, they are their heros.
>> to see this reaction is something you think they've drawn strength from?
>> i think they've absolutely drawn strength from it. when my son heard that, he said that is messed up. did you hear that? i hope they get rid of that guy. i was particularly encouraged by lebron james , a current player, coming out so swiftly and actively speaking about this is not acceptable. same thing with chris paul and steve nash . if you look just not even 50 years ago at john carlos and tommy smith in the 1968 olympics, when they gave the, you no e, now infamous and iconic black power fist, that was such a huge step for them to make as a show of solidarity in protest against, you know, injustices that affect minorities and all communities that have been discriminated against.
>> to the extent that this sort of scratches the surface and reveals a much larger culture of exploitation, both sexism and racism, how do you think the women of the nba and associated with the nba should respond? is there more that wives of players and wives of owners can or should do?
>> well, i think that they look at it quite candidly from -- i can't speak for all of them, but they're mothers. they are bringing their children up in this environment where they watch basketball. they're fans of basketball. they live it. but i think what's interesting, some of the remarks i've gotten from, you know, ex-wives or wives is that they were so offended also like many in the public that sterling said, i feed these guys. i clothe these guys. i buy their homes. in a complete disregard that the men that play in the nba , the women that play in the wnba, they're not being given something. they're being paid to do something that they operate at the highest level in the world. so that was also particularly --
>> it's incredibly grueling. he's profiting off of that.
>> absolutely. so they're being paid for something that only 300 people in the world can do.
>> ruth, do you think that this will change the culture around how women are treated in the nba ?
>> i don't want to hold myself out as an expert on how women are treated in the nba . but i think i said in the column that this was a transaction as old as time. i'm not sure really shedding even a very small amount of light on it as we talk about the main story, which is the racism, is going to change the older man, younger woman. i said wealthy troll and attractive younger woman. i like to get the word "troll" in the newspaper. i don't hold out a lot of hope for change.
>> crystal mccrary and ruth marcus , appreciate it.