Sterling Tarnishes NBA Gold. What should Silver do?

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April 29, 2014 by gregrabidoux2013

Sterling pic

Gee, who knew all those racist thoughts could make you fat?

By now we’ve all heard or at least read the words spewed forth from the racist mouth of NBA Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling. In a private rant to his mistress that she secretly recorded (well, of course she did) Sterling takes exception at her posing with and posting pictures of herself with “Blacks” and tells her that it’s bad enough she associates with “them” but not to “bring any Blacks to any of my games.” She responds that he (Sterling) owns a team made up of black players, he counters that he “feeds and clothes them” and that’s enough.

Boy, these two are really something else.

Sterling mistress

The mistress is the one with the wig but not the sunglasses.

One of the pics that his mistress, V. Stiviano (aka, Vanessa Perez, Vanessa Maria Perez, Monica Gallegos, Melena Gonzales-pick one) posted on Instagram (since taken down) was with Magic Johnson. The Laker Legend had considered Sterling to be a friend and was understandably deeply insulted and offended by Sterling’s racist and abhorrent comments directed at himself and other athletes like L.A. Dodger star Matt Kemp.

oprah winfrey

Sterling should just be glad that Oprah is not the NBA Commissioner. She don’t play that way pal.

As we all should be.

Much has been made of the “fact” (not sure what is or is not fact when it comes to the “mistress”) that Stiviano is herself of mixed heritage, black and Hispanic and how could Sterling be so bigoted, given he is “dating” a minority.

Well, if there is anything truly certain in this ugly incident it is that Donald Sterling is not new to allegations of being a bigot and a racist. According to his former General Manager and African-American, Elgin Baylor (another Laker legend) Sterling thought of the franchise as a “Southern Plantation” himself as a “Slave Master” and wanted “a team comprised of poor blacks from the South” and a “White head coach.”

Geez, how do folks like this even function in modern society?

Sterling, who was himself born of poor Jewish parents, changed his own name from “Tokowitz” to “Sterling” to “inspire confidence and trust” was sued in 2003 by the US Department of Justice. The feds alleged discriminatory practices involving his ownership of federal housing rental properties in what he called “poor black areas of L.A. where he could get rich.”

Allegations included his stated goal of getting rid of all the “Blacks because they smell” and “Mexicans because they just drink and smoke all day” regardless of whether they paid rent on time or not. He had his wife pose as a Government Inspector so she could secretly inspect the homes and identify all the “Blacks and Mexicans” so they could “push them out.”

chihuahua w big eyes

Let me at Sterling, I’ll take a bite out of his racist hide.

The lawsuit was settled out of court for $2.8 million, the highest ever payout over such housing allegations in this nation. Sterling later bragged that he “didn’t pay a dime” but it was his insurance company who got nervous and caved in to “them.”

The NBA, like it has done throughout Sterling’s 33 year ownership of the Clippers, looked the other way. David Stern the brilliant former NBA commissioner who grew a fledgling league into a world-wide mega-money making machine that is today’s superstar driven NBA, knew exactly the type of man who owned the Clippers. Stern, apparently, did not want to rock the Sterling boat.

David stern pic

Of course I knew Sterling was a problem. But I am the master so it’s Adam’s problem now!

So, now it us up to Stern’s protégé, Adam Silver, navigating his own maiden voyage as Commissioner this year to make things right in the NBA once again.

The calls for Sterling’s head on a (sterling) Silver platter (sorry, couldn’t resist) have been swift and forceful.

NBA legend and now Bobcat owner Michael Jordan was “repulsed” by Sterling’s comment. Magic Johnson vowed never to attend another Clipper game as long as Sterling is the owner. The Clippers tossed their jerseys on the floor before game 4 and wore the Clipper logo inside out during warm-ups to protest Sterling’s comments. And then proceeded to get clobbered by the Warriors setting up an even more dramatic than usual, pivotal game 5 tonight in, of course, L.A.

Everyone wants swift and strong action taken against Sterling. At the very least a suspension, at best booted out as owner.

This includes Charles Barkley who wonders though, if the NBA by-laws would allow Commissioner Silver to impose such a penalty. He is joined by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban who goes even further, cautioning that trying to oust Sterling, regardless of how repugnant his statements are, would be a “slippery slope.”

Mark Cuban pic

I may say some dumb stuff but I’m no racist.

In other words, can the NBA take away an individual’s ownership rights to a team that provides entertainment to the paying and viewing public for racist comments uttered in private?

Should they?

Recently, the owner of the NFL Indianapolis Colts, Robert Irsay, was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of narcotics, and was found to have prescription drugs (not his own) on his person along with several thousand dollars of cash. The very likely and regrettable conclusion is that Mr. Irsay is a drug abuser and addict who, if not stopped, may well have ended up injured or worse.

The NFL Commissioner stepped in quickly and forcefully.

Mr. Irsay was suspended indefinitely, forced to remove himself from football operations and decision-making and a family-member was tapped to replace him in the near and possibly long-term.

The NBA by-laws are not quite as technically generous in their grant of unilateral power to Commissioner Silver as they are to football’s Commissioner Roger Goodell.

This never seemed to impede David Stern though. He masterfully shaped such a multi-billion dollar NBA brand over the years that his “bosses,” the collective NBA team owners, pretty much just got out of his way as he made them wealthy (er).

Sterling’s own initial investment of $15 million when he purchased the Clipper franchise is now estimated to be worth well over $350 million.

NBA cash

NBA Cash Fever-Catch it!

As Charles Barkley notes, “that’s on the sweat and tears and backs of a lot of young African-Americans over the years.”

But for all the talk in the media of Sterling treating his team as a plantation and his players as “slaves,” the fact still remains that he is the legal owner of the franchise and his players are highly paid professional athletes under legally recognized contracts they entered into under their own free will.

Let’s be clear, the man’s heart may be racist-filled but the slave metaphor only holds up for so long. At its core, this is a dispute between millionaires and billionaires. If playing in the NBA is modern-day slavery as Al Sharpton seems to imply then um, sign me up.

Still.

For many reasons, moral, ethical and the pure capitalism of protecting the NBA “brand” now and to the future, something must be done about Mr. Sterling. Even his estranged wide, Rochelle, (who by the way is suing the mistress alleging she embezzled $1.8 million from the team) seems split over the best and most just action against her husband. One day she says he is not in his heart a racist and has done so much to advance minority rights (are you sure Rochelle?) the next day she declines comment and (smartly) makes clear she (Rochelle) at least, is no racist.

Sterling mistress visor

Nope, not a welder but the mistress with a creative disguise. Honest.

In other words, Donald, you are not “The” Donald, just a wealthy blub who blurted out far too much to his gold-digging, secretly recording mistress.

And now he will pay.

But the question remains how much?

Memo to Mr. Sterling:

Have someone else collect rent in-person in your apartments next month.

Hey, there’s a possible penalty. Force Sterling to actually have to live in his slumlord rental units for a year. Maybe that would teach him far more about respecting people of all colors and income levels than Mr. Silver and the NBA ever could.

The ball is now in your court, Commissioner Silver. Good luck. The world is watching. No pressure.

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51 thoughts on “Sterling Tarnishes NBA Gold. What should Silver do?

  1. Tyler W says:

    I believe that the NBA did the right thing but banning him for life. I think he should have had to pay a bigger fine. Its not like he doesn’t have enough money for it haha. If I was a player for the Clippers I would be just as furious as they are. It makes it sound like they were his slaves and he owned them and everything they had. It was wrong in many ways and now that its over, the Clippers can focus on the playoffs.

  2. Khari L says:

    As an 85 year old man, I am not really concern about how Sterling feels about black people. It would be best if he best if he sold his portion of his team. We all knew as US citizens how racist he was after his last incident. He more than likely grew up brain washed by his parents about slavery but at this point it is too late for him to feel sorry about what he said. As professional the clippers should just focus on the playoffs and win the series. Let the commissioner handle those crazy stories because that is his job.

  3. Ariel says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I think they should come down as hard as they possibly can on Mr. Sterling. On the other hand, I do not agree with someone being forced to sell their company because of their beliefs. Based on his comments, I doubt Sterling will do the right thing and just sell the company. I personally do not think that everyone could have been so blind to his racism. How could his employees not realize he was that racist? I think there is more to this story than what we know. Either way, I am interested to see what the commissioner does.

  4. Allison M says:

    I’m on the fence about this one. I think he should be punished, because he’s a jerk and I don’t like jerks. But I also don’t think that he should be punished for what he believes, no matter how twisted, backward and wrong he is. I wonder if people knew how racist he was to begin with and ignored it for his money and that he’s gotten out of hand with it, they’re turning on him? Who knows. If I were Mr. Sterling, the shame of everyone knowing I was this messed up would force me to sell the team and move to Siberia buuut he seems like a money grubber to me. It probably wouldn’t bother him. The Commissioner has a big decision to make, a lot of people waiting on that decision and a LOT of money riding on it. Glad it’s not me!

  5. taylor d says:

    Like many things revolving around sports the media is going overboard on the coverage. As far as what he said it is without a doubt wrong and he is clearly paying the price for what he said but as a nation should we applaud that someones right of freedom of speech is not being protected. Do not get me wrong I do not agree with what he said but can we honestly sit here and say that punishing a person for what he beliefs is within the rights. I do not know any of the bylaws that an NBA owner abides by but I am sure that the right to restrict any of the amendments is part of it.

  6. Abigail A says:

    I fully support punishment for Mr. Sterling for his comments but at the same time, why now though since this man is known for such behavior? This is an 85 year old man who was raised to be racist considering the time in which he was born. For me, I’d rather know someone’s racist than for him to hide it and be all nice in my face. I also feel it was wrong for his mistress to record and reveal a private conversation to the public, and therefore hope she does not go scot-free. I came across an allegation that Magic Johnson expressed an interest in buying the Clippers before this happened. If this is true, then I will be tempted to suspect conspiracy here after analyzing the way Sterling’s mistress kept pushing him to say most of what he said in the conversation.

  7. Kameron M says:

    I feel as though Donald Sterling should be fined and removed of his position as owner of the LA Clippers. What he said was outrageous, it is 2014 and I am not surprised that racism still exists. But I am surprised that an owner that has majority black players that plays for him would say something as racist as he did. We live in a world were racism should not be of topic anymore, but people like Donald Sterling brings it back up as if Abraham Lincoln did not issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

    • Steve Mason says:

      Yes, Sterling should pay some type of fine, and maybe some other things that would try to make up for his comments. But as an owner of a team, he cannot be removed. He is a legal owner of a multi-billion dollar team and thus there is nothing the NBA can do about that. Now someone could possibly buy him out or if he is set up as the COO or CEO of the company “The team” he could be removed from daily operations. Outside of that he is there to stay much to the opinion of most of us, who would like to see nothing better then for him to pack his “bags” and be gone from the sport and the limelight that comes with it.

  8. Dominique E says:

    Honestly, I feel like he did the right thing by banning. Yes, he was just stating his beliefs and we all have the freedom of speech, but for him to say that and have a team full of African American men was just out of pocket. It’s one thing for him to feel that way, but for him to actually say it out loud is another. Once that finally came out, unfair things that he has been doing to African American years in his past years finally came out. So yes, he should be fined, banned and forced to sell his team.

  9. Erik C says:

    I feel that Donald Sterling has received what he deserved. He’s 80 years old and he is rich. 2.5 million wont do anything to his pockets and selling the team will do nothing but put more money in his pockets. He’s 80 he probably wont have much to do with the NBA even if he didn’t get banned.

  10. Cassidy C. says:

    I completely agree with the NBA commissioner’s decision to ban Sterling for life. His comments were racist, and that kind of mentality has no place in professional sports, or anywhere else for that matter. With that being said, the NBA, nor anyone else has any right to force Sterling to sell his team. What an old, hate-filled man said in the privacy of his home to his mistress, as much as I disagree with his comments, is free speech. Nothing he says in his home, as long as it isn’t criminal, can be used to force him to sell his team. If a local business owner told his wife in their house that he didn’t want white women in his stores, and she recorded it and played it for the world to hear should he be forced to sell his business? Absolutely not. The same applies here. Unfortunately it is a much larger business, which is rich in African American culture. His comments are terrible, but he can’t be forced to sell his business because of them.

  11. Gabrielle Reed says:

    After reading this, I had many thoughts. For one, i agree that Sterling got what he deserved. Since he does have a lot of money, i think he should be charged a larger fine just because this is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. His comments were completely absurd considering the fact that his team is mainly African-American.

  12. vtshipman says:

    I have followed this topic very closely since it broke last weekend. If the law in California says that a person cannot tape someone unless they have their permission then there might be a problem. Yes Sterling is someone who has some serious issues and he should have to pay for these ugly thoughts. But breaking the law to catch someone is also bad.

    Plus there are a lot of people who say racist things are not treated the same way. I think racist talk is bad regardless of who it comes from. If people don’t like his comments then they can boycott the Clippers. Then he will lose money and have to sell the franchise. The by-laws of the NBA constitution says he has to sell his team if 3/4 of the other team owners feel that way.

    I believe the NBA Commissioner did the right thing and banned him from all Clipper and NBA games/practices, etc. This type of attitude and mindset must be weeded out of our society.

  13. Se'Deyrius Hicks says:

    I believe Streling should be given a bigger fine, 2.5 million isn’t much for a man such as him. The best thing he can do for himself as of now is sell the team and go on with his life

  14. Nick C says:

    I think that the NBA can take away an individual’s ownership rights to a team that provides entertainment to the paying and viewing public for racist comments uttered in private. The NBA is a club of owners who must work together and have shared business interests to make a profit and Sterling’s actions put them all at risk to lose money and support throughout the country. While I agree with the article that this is a dispute between millionaires and billionaires the NBA must be supported by the public and the leagues for many reasons including moral, ethical and the pure capitalism must worry about protecting the NBA “brand” now and to the future. Mr. Sterling’s words are a threat to what this country believes as much as to the NBA and there is no place for such a thing and he must be removed regardless if it is not 100% clear in the NBA bylaws. Commissioner Silver it is time to make a statement with your actions in this case not just a press conference.

  15. Anthony T says:

    I commend the NBA for it’s swiftness of addressing the matter and it’s overall ruling (Maybe a larger fine than 2.5 mil). I’m all for banning sterling from the NBA and all team related activities, but I don’t know how the NBA is going to make him sell the team. I doubt the selling of the team, (if it happens at all) will happen as quickly as the rulings against him were laid out but I am pleased with the direction the NBA is going in. There is no place for donald sterling in our league- Lebron Raymone James. No. He should not continue owning the clippers. #nochance #noway #nohow – Kobe Bean Bryant

  16. RIkesh T says:

    I think they did the right thing in banning him for life, but only a 2.5 million dollar fine?! That’s pennies for that guy. But I question how they are actually going to force him to sell HIS business. Obviously, he is racist, but his racial bash, was recorded in a private conversation, which I believe is illegal. If the owners of the NBA actually vote for him to sell the business, he is going to tie the matter up in court for years, and his lawyers will use the fact that his private conversation is the basis for the expulsion. I don’t like Sterling, but I think its a little unfair to tell an individual to sell his business.

    And by the way, his girlfriend, is a woman of color and it has been speculated that her father is actually BLACK.

  17. Kay A-L says:

    Well since this post, Sterling has been banned and if he doesn’t fight it, a lot of wealthy people including Magic Johnson will be able to buy the Clippers and I think that’s exactly what he deserves. Being black, I was slightly angry at what he said in the voicemail. I know racism is still prevalent in the world, but I personally have never heard anyone say racist comments calling African Americans minorities and so hearing that, I hope (d) all bad things would come to him. He doesn’t deserve to own a NBA team and he doesn’t deserve all the money he has. I am pleased that the commissioner has decided to punish Sterling and I would be even more pleased if he were sued and had to give up so much money that he really noticed the difference in his bank account. I would also feel better if he were forced to do some type of community service, forced to live in a home where all his resources and luxuries are taken away, AND treated for like 4 years as if he’s a minority. MAYBE then he would learn to be more grateful and be more humble to those less fortunate.

    • vtshipman says:

      Your position seems a little harsh to me. While I dislike what he said in an apparent private message (which cannot be recorded unless both parties agree in California), there are a lot of people of color that go on rants about white people. Is it OK for minorities to say racist things about whites? Or is it a one-way street? I am talking about some of the trash the Rev. Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson have said in public.

    • Nicole says:

      Wow- is this still America we live in? Your passionate opinion on the matter seems to be a bit over-the-top. Our liberties cannot just be taken away because people do not like what that they hear, such as yourself. Truthfully, to wish ill-will on a total stranger as you have here is rather ignorant in and of itself. I regret this perspective on your behalf; it is misguided passion like this that is slowly eroding the rights private citizens enjoy.

      • Who are you suggesting is wishing ill will on a stranger? And whom are you saying is ignorant in and of itself? I would encourage you to either re-read this column, and then please show me where my opinion is “over the top.” If indeed your comments are directed at me as the author.

  18. Sarah D says:

    I am disgusted by the racism displayed by Mr. Sterling. However, I am torn by the decision on what should happen to him. Of course, we as decent human beings want to see blatant hate speech have severe consequences. However, there is a complication in the way the conversation was publicized and who made it public. The question then becomes should people be able to be punished for being racist jerks in their private lives and conversations and who is responsible for monitoring that? Difficult task for commissioner Silver. I have no solution to offer.

  19. Keir B says:

    It’s sad to know that in 2014, we still live in a world where racism still heavily exists. I fully agree with Sterling being released of his duties however, I wish more could be done. I think that him being banned for the rest of his life doesn’t really mean much since he’s already 80 years old and battling prostate cancer. Realistically, how much longer will his life be? I think he needs to be hit where it hurts, in his pockets. Slap him with a big fine that can be donated to a charity or some other organization that really needs it. As a public figure, he should have known better than to let such distasteful comments come out of his mouth. You can’t be criticized for what you think, however, the moment you verbalize something so controversial, you should know that it could come back to bite you in the butt.

  20. Casey H says:

    I completely am behind the fining and the barring from the NBA games and stadium for Sterling. He lost the respect of every employee he has and every one of his coworkers within the NBA. Should he have the ownership of the team taken away though? That’s difficult to say. Unless it’s stated somewhere within the rules that is what will happen I’m not sure how I feel about taking it away. While it’d definitely kill their business and merchandise sells, and hurt Sterling that way I’m sure he’ll try not to sell his ownership. I do believe they should make it a rule at this point so they can take ownership away when these type of situations arise.

  21. wjwood says:

    While Sterling is an ignorant individual I don’t think his team should be automatically seized from him as if he was Bernie Madoff or something. Of course, the talent that is guiding the NBA if if the majority of front offices are white. This is very similar to the case of Marge Schott, the beer guzzling, chain smoking owner that would set in the owners box with her slobbering St. Bernard, Schottie. Schott would have never made with the digital age because she said what was on her mind. She stopped short of Third Reich day, but even Pete Rose couldn’t parlay Schott into staying baseball. The mid 1980’s were rough for the Reds, Rose and Schott both excommunicated for different but its never good when the commissioner has you club on speed dial.

  22. Sherry B says:

    I was very disappointed in Sterling’s remarks but not surprised. Rascism is an issue that has become taboo to some and others are in denial. Racism still exist the only difference now is that it’s tolerated for monetary profit. It is my opinion that the only reason something was done is because he not only spoke negative about black people but also the White Jews which was considered to be very offensive and disrespectful.
    I think the Commissioner made the right decision in taking a stand that type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

  23. Jazmyn M says:

    I do believe that Donald Sterling needed to be punished for his ignorant comments but i do beleive being banned from everything dealing with Nba is being a little harsh. And there is a debate on whether V. Stiviano is an actual villain or hero. But what alot of people don’t realize is that she wasnt or at least claims that she wasnt the one who leaked the recorded conversation. But if she knew he was racist because ican’t imagine this is the first time she has experienced his negativity about minorities, then why didn’t she leave sooner? why now?

  24. Kyle B says:

    I believe that the actions taken in regards to Mr. Sterling were absolutely justified. The NBA, and all other professional sports for that matter, need to adhere to a zero tolerance policy towards racism. However, in response to some of the other comments, I believe that what he got was what he deserved. I don’t feel that he should have his life ruined because of his own opinion, even if it is ignorant and bigotry. This is still America, and he’s allowed to have his own opinions, but if his opinions happen to be racist, he shouldn’t be able to have such an influential position in the American culture like his coaching position was.

  25. Chris H says:

    I believe Donald Sterling was wrong for what he say. I understand he grew up in an era of racism, but in today’s era he has to realize that the work place he is in he is going to deal with many blacks. So he shouldn’t say remarks as such he did just because it would interfere with the business of his organization.

  26. Jasmine says:

    Dude, you are a grown man. You have to be smarter enough to know better. You should know not to make statements such as this. It always comes back to you. He should be punished

  27. zbsaxon says:

    Though his comments may me immoral, rude, and insulting, it is still intriguing to ponder the legalities that NBA commissioner truly has. However, now that he is banned for private conversations, I found it hilarious that National Champion and football super star Jameis Winston is caught in the theft of food from a grocery store and it gets swept under the rug and not even more than a total of 10 minutes of coverage, yet we can’t seem to avoid talks about Sterling on every medium of media. What he did was wrong and deserved punishment however, as with every other issue involving race in this country, the white man always catches way more heat and media attention.

  28. Victoria H says:

    While it is his personal views, we live in a day where everyone is equal. Race is just a race and means nothing. I think that he was wrong in saying what he said. Sterling should know better, and that’s what he gets for running his mouth to his mistress.

  29. Justin L says:

    Of course, by now thus situation has been resolved and is no longer the “hot ticket item” for Sportcenter to rant about for hours on end, however I do think it is important to realize it’s impact in today’s society. We had a racist, greedy, hateful old man who owned and was in charge of one of our leading sports industry teams. That’s amazing in my eyes honestly. The teams and all staff inbetween look to these owners for guidance and leadership, and with Mr. Sterling, all there is is an old man who never got with the times so to speak. I understand why he is how he is, it’s because he’s old and that’s how things were back then. But that isn’t how it is anymore. However I do believe that the NBA handled the situation correctly and rid themselves of the “problem child”.

  30. John K says:

    This whole incident kind of goes along with the whole “actions and beliefs” concept (see I’m paying attention in class).Sure it’s his American right to believe what he wants, even if its really heinous and mess up. However, I am sure he knows that his own personal beliefs would not go well in public, so it is his fault for letting that out. But then again, that’s probably why he only told his mistress, so in a way he got swindled since she recorded it all. To be completely honest, I would rather wanted him to brutally honest than be a two face about the whole thing. That’s just a personal belief, but I do think that what his consequences were were justified. Even if his opinion is not what the majority thinks, he should have kept it to himself, but in a way he was raised in that culture, so maybe it’s not necessarily his fault. Since he is in his 80’s, he should know how life works, so saying something offensive will not go well especially in a high position that he’s in. In this kind of professional sport, there should be a zero tolerance policy on racism, but in today’s society, the whole concept of racism toward one another is confusing, an infamous example in our nation’s history is the Trayvon Martin case.

  31. Jason B says:

    First, if they recorded him without his permission then that’s a little sketch. Why would you “just so happen” to record a conversation with your boyfriend and have it leaked? The entire story seems as if he may have been set up. I’ve never been one to agree with any type of underhandedness or “dirty-cop” type of deals. Second, I don’t think the NBA should touch Sterling. You can’t change someone’s mind frame with a ban and a fine. What message are we really sending? It’s not like he can receive jail time for not liking African Americans. As an African American, I blame every athlete on his roster for playing on his team. Al Sharpton was right; they are million dollar slaves. The enslavement Al Sharpton is referring to is a form of mental slavery. The slavery Sterling refers to is the plantation/field slavery. They are million dollar slaves because they’re playing for a league established and orchestrated by Caucasians. The problem with the establishment and the orchestration of the league is that they never thought to establish their own. If the league is comprised of majority African Americans and if you feel as if they’re “making money off of you,” then change. However, they don’t want change. If a league was established and orchestrated by African Americans, Caucasians would call it racist. What makes it so different now? Monopolizing on someone else’s talent is just as wrong. What is the meaning of life? Are we to be of service or to make money? These athletes have already forsaken their moral values by playing on his team without doing research. He was sued by the US Department of Justice. This entire “mis-hap” is a joke to me. Sports falls under the entertainment category; it’s not a necessity. The real problem is when Americans fail to seek a resolution to a bigger problem, racism.

  32. Takym V. says:

    I think that’s crazy how sterling made this remark on race. First, I thought he made the remarks was a mere joke , but now I realized it was a honest statement . I just feel he deserved what he got.

  33. Erica T-F says:

    I feel that the new commissioner was correct in his actions against Sterling. The crazier part about the situation is the hatefulness that Sterling has against magic Johnson, recently in an interview bringing up how he had the Aids virus and how he had never done anything for the African American community…now the point of the interview was to give his side and apologize but instead he further bashed Magic Johnson bringing up things that were untrue. Sterling seems as though he is desiring attention and I feel people should not feed into that with the interviews and responding to the accusations he makes. The NBA should stay truthful and force him out.

  34. Scarlett T says:

    Clearly his “mistress” knew what she was doing by recording that conversation and leaking it to the press. What I am confused on is if he is a racist, why was he sleeping with a woman of color? Kinda strange if you ask me. Also, the Clippers franchise needs a new PR team if they would even entertain the thought of having an owner who has already encountered countless racist remarks made by himself and taken to court for! Who the heck runs their PR? That is just stupid. For a franchise that is majority African American, you might want to have an owner who if he is racist, at least isn’t stupid enough to have his conversations recorded or made public. UCLA was smart enough to return the money Sterling donated to them because they did not want to be associated with a man or organization that condones racist allegations. Sterling has not once apologized for his remarks so I think that should be his first step in cleaning up this mess. Again, if the Clippers organization has so called “had these problems with Sterling for years”, then why haven’t you taken action before this incident? You just cost yourself players and fans.

    • Scarlett-well, the former commissioner David Stern did not want to confront this problem and felt so long as he kept his prejudices private the golden goose could keep laying golden NBA eggs. And we do see racists with people dating but it’s more like white slave owners having sexual relation with slaves. The attitude was good for one thing but inferior overall. maybe that’s what DS felt, who knows, right?

  35. Thomas says:

    This dispute is far from over and I’m afraid this is only the beginning. Recently former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer purchased the Clippers for $2B. Just a few moments ago I also read where Sterling is going to hit the NBA with a $1B lawsuit in damages. This will be an ongoing battle in the months and maybe even years to come. I believe Commissioner Silver did a fine job in his discipline of Donald Sterling. There is no room for racism anywhere much less the NBA. I have no problem with banning him for life and fining him the max amount. Where I think its gets tricky is when the Commissioner is talking about taking away Sterling’s ownership. I am with Cuban on this one. This is a very slippery slope and I wouldn’t want to go down it if I was a fellow NBA owner. Sterling made these comments in the privacy of his own home and we are talking about taking away a mans property? Because of something that came out of his mouth in private? When I sit and think about that something doesn’t seem right. I think back to all the other news stories that have gone on in professional sports recently ranging from adultery to the use of PED’s and the punishment that these individuals have received. Not saying that one is worse than the other but I don’t see the comparison. I think what Donald Sterling said was awful. I don’t believe this is a one time thing for him either. I think he has always been a racist and that has been proven with evidence. I believe banning him from the NBA was the right thing to do. All I’m saying is I would not want to be an NBA owner having to decide whether or not we should force a man to give up something he owns.

    • Good points. While owning an NBA team is a privilege and not a right as the Commissioner put it, you still retain legal rights as an owner. The dilemma here is that while former Clippers GM Elgin Baylor sued Sterling for workplace discrimination and a hostile workplace he lost as there seemed to be nothing tangible or exculpatory to sustain his suit. In short, while Sterling seems to be clearly racist in his private life, he actually was seen as progressive, especially early on when it came to diversity in hiring. Go figure, right?

      So, yes, dispossessing someone of their legal property because of private sentiments while certainly a popular move with the players and rightly so, may not stand up to full legal muster upon review.

  36. Samuel D says:

    I believe the NBA did everything that it could under their by-laws. The ban is probably best for the league because Sterling is such a powerful figure that his actions will strongly affect the perception of the NBA (whether good or otherwise). The $2.5 million was the most that they could have fined him so I have no issues with that. What is scary is the notion of the league forcing a sale of the Clippers. Many legal analysts expected the NBA to be able to force the sale. The issue with that is what precedent would be set in future litigation. Donald Sterling’s comments were clearly ignorant and biased, but they were in no way illegal. Will private comments be enough to force individuals (or even ownership groups) to sell their private possession(s)?

    Emotionally I love the fact that the league is forcing a sale of the team, but legally, I am scared because of the precedent that could be set.

  37. Nicole says:

    Frankly, it is the media that latches onto particular stories and make them an issue for the public- thus, an issue for debate. Let’s be honest, everyone that reads this article, and that is familiar with this story is guilty of being prejudice at some point. Being racist is not a crime, being a bigot is not a crime and being a jerk is not a crime.

    We are allow to have different opinions, we are allowed to voice those opinions and we shouldn’t be fearful that someone is recording those opinions in the privacy of our own home.

    The bigger issue here its he loss of privacy, not the hateful comments made by some old man. The players knew exactly who they were playing for, but did that stop their check from arriving every month? No. Did that stop them from playing every game? No. I assume just let people worry about their own values and morals; let the players decide what or whom they want to play for. It is not up to the mass public to set some sort of moral code for the rest of us. Mr. Sterlings racists comments were not enlightening, they were not ground shaking and they were not what I would consider deplorable, (recent Justin Bieber news is far more disrespectful).

    http://www.tmz.com/2014/06/04/justin-bieber-singing-one-less-lonely-n-word-video-girl/

    What shall we ban him from??

    This is a slippery slope and a rather low bar for a high consequence if you ask me. Do we really want to set this precedent?

    Donald Sterling is paying a fine not for the comments he made, but because he has caused damage to the NBA franchise; the highest fine ever cited to anyone in the NBA. Mr. Sterling is setting the standard for how we will be expected to treat future incidents similar to this.
    What’s stopping some jealous ex-wife/girlfriend from recording a player or coach from making questionable remarks. Will we then be faced with watching the Heat without LeBron or the Celtics without Rondo? It is a question worth considering, and I think that it’s also disconcerting for the current owners. The vote for the Steve Ballmer purchase is supposed to happen today. It is supposed to be 3/4 vote of all other owners; this essentially is them setting the precedent for their future as well. Where will the line be drawn, who is susceptible, what is fair?

    It is my belief that the public concern and the franchise concerns are totally different in this matter. Commissioners and owners are not sitting around wrecked with guilt by the comments made about minorities; they are most concerned with how to protect their wealth and their investments, period.

    In addition, ruling this way is also declaring unsavory comments of a higher priority than domestic violence, rape, drug use, and other crimes committed by NBA affiliates; something to think about.

    http://nbacrimelibrary.wordpress.com

  38. Ashley G says:

    To be honest you can’t be an owner of a team and you can’t stand African Americans. If one is gonna play for an organization you should not only like me as a player but a person and not show off a slave mentality. You only own the team you don’t own me as a player. His comments where out of line and he should honestly kept them to himself committed an act that can’t be covered by an apology. I agree with the league forcing his hand in selling the Clippers because he doesn’t deserve to have the title “owner” of a national organization, in which influences our youth. I believe the players did a great job by staying out of and letting the league handle it. When players where asked they stated how it made them feel and kept moving because the knew they had a job to do.

  39. Brandi S says:

    I feel that Sterling is an undercover racist. His position should be taken. How do he expect for the players to continue to play ball for him knowing how he feels about minorities? And to think that he was honored by a minority organization. I think its sick. I know that racism still exist but when it is presented in any form or fashion it should be handled immediately. Every race deserve respect whether you are rich or poor. Either way if he said it in private or in public he is still wrong.

  40. Autron H says:

    In my opinion Donald Sterling is not the only and sure not the last NBA owner to share those thought.Donald Sterling just got caught with a tape recorder. If you look around the owners of the teams in the NBA are mostly if not all white men.The mentality of Mr. Sterling is not something rare it is shared by many NBA sports fans and NBA team owners. This is just my opinion.

  41. Kasey S says:

    I believe that comments made in private to a mistress should not be taken into account on if he should be banned from the league. He might make bad racial comments, but there is no evidence that he treats his players poorly. If anything he should be booted from owning an apartment complex and his mistress should leave him. She knows how racist he is but instead of leaving him & his money, she decides to make private comments public.

    The most hurtful thing that the people that call for his dismissal could do is not “tune in”. If people truly believed that Sterling should be not be an NBA owner, hurt his wallet.

  42. callenm says:

    Even though this story is old news and all have been punished I have to wonder how long all of this went on. I really find it hard to believe that the players were unaware of Mr. Sterling’s opinions. I always find it interesting that until media breaks a story and gets everyone commenting that nothing is done. Tiger Woods is another prime example. It wasn’t until the story of his cheating broke in mainstream media that his world started to collapse. It is sad that people do not stand up to “powerful people” and hold them accountable for their actions until it becomes a big media story and they are thrust into the limelight and forced to make a decision to appease someone else.

  43. Gabe Frisbie says:

    I believe that Sterling was rightfully let go. His actions were not in line with the clear NBA policy in regards to holding up respectability. He has ran a terrible team for decades and was only in it for his ego and money. I think it was great that they got rid of Sterling and acted correctly in getting him out of the NBA. It was clear what he said on tape and the NBA took the necessary measures to oust him out of his ownership position.

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