Friday, May 2, 2014

Disgraced basketball team owners and kidney transplants--an unexpected connection

Virginia Postrel draws the connection: Latest Sterling Outrage Victim? Kidneys

"Earlier this month, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s foundation pledged $3 million for kidney research at UCLA and made an initial payment of $425,000.
"Now, not surprisingly, UCLA has decided to return the money. “Mr. Sterling’s divisive and hurtful comments demonstrate that he does not share UCLA’s core values as a public university that fosters diversity, inclusion, and respect,” the university said in a press release.
"But it means that Sterling’s racist comments have now cost researchers precious funding in the fight against a racially biased disease. Blacks are more than three times as likely as whites to develop kidney disease and account for a third of U.S. kidney patients. Outrage won’t help their cause.

"The NBA could. The league is in a unique position to raise money for and awareness of kidney disease, which suffers from a low public profile and lack of celebrity representatives. It could start by donating Sterling’s $2.5 million fine to the UCLA nephrology program to replace the lost funds.
"This summer presents the perfect opportunity for the NBA to embrace kidney disease as a cause. On August 8, Alonzo Mourning will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. NBA fans know him as a defensive great and long-time center for the Miami Heat. He is also one of the country’s most famous kidney transplant recipients. His cousin Jason Cooper, who gave him the kidney, will be with him for the honors. "

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