Gene Simmons: ‘I’m on the Side of Donald Sterling’
By Kevin Rutherford
In the new interview posted today (Aug. 5), the KISS bassist touched on a number of things, including new reality show 4th and Loud, the controversy behind the potential Washington Redskins name change and — perhaps most interestingly of all — beleaguered Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
But rather than join the dog pile on Sterling, Simmons said he’s actually on his side — at least, in the sense that Sterling shouldn’t be faulted for what he said privately.
“I’m on Mel Gibson’s side, Don Sterling’s side and anybody who has a racist or an expletive rant privately,” he said. “The difference between this guy, who’s heinous of course, or anybody else is that they were caught. Everybody [says] jokes that are off- color, or when they’re drunk. The difference between Sterling and everyone else is that he was caught on camera, by the way, without his approval. He was ambushed. I think he should have done penance and paid a fine.
“Here’s what’s going to happen,” he continued. “They’re going to go after Sterling and he’s going to put a few million dollars out there, because he can afford it – and he’s going to ask the paparazzi out there to find videos of all the other team members talking trash and racist rants. And then it’s open season. And if, because you say an off color joke or make a racist rant privately, that causes you to lose a job – nobody would have a job! Black people do it, Jews do it, Christians do it – everybody does it! It’s called America. Free speech. Even if free speech insults other people. Privately. Publicly, that’s different. I’m on the side of free speech in the privacy of your own home or privacy of the situation. Big brother has finally crawled in bed with us.”
Simmons has had other recent headline-making opinions. Last week he noted that he had zero sympathy for folks with drug abuse problems or depression — “I’m the guy who says, ‘Jump!’” he said — after being asked about his relationship with former KISS members.
Before, he came out in defense of the so-called 1 percent, claiming that half of Americans pay no taxes and telling people to “try being nice to rich people.”