It’s now been a few days since La Clippers owner Donald Sterling became embroiled in a racism scandal. Sterling’s comments paint a picture of a racist man who is out of touch with modern America. He is out of touch with the very league (NBA) that his team is part of.
Sterling’s comments were disturbing. Why would he make those comments to a girlfriend? How does he think she would take it? Besides being a racist, Sterling is stupid. In this day in age where people in the public eye are scrutinized and watched, Sterling should have realized his comments could be made public.
It’s a good thing his comments were made public. Now we know the type of human being Sterling is. I’m sure he will make a statement at some time, telling America that he isn't a racist and that his comments were taken out of context. I don’t think the public will buy into anything this man has to say.
The NBA Needs to Act Now
The NBA has said that it will use due process and investigate this incident quickly. I do think that due process is necessary but the longer it takes the NBA to act and hand out its discipline to Sterling, the worse the perception from the public will be.
The public and media have already judged Donald Sterling. The public has seen the transcripts of his alleged racist conversation. NBA commissioner Adam Silver is faced with his first major incident as head of the NBA. How he acts now will define his legacy.
Is that fair? In this case it is. Silver needs to demonstrate to NBA fans that he will not tolerate racism and that he will discipline anyone who acts in a racist way severely and to the full extent that NBA rules allow.
In this day and age, investigations can be conducted quickly and efficiently. I don’t think that this is a particularly tough case to crack. It should be able to be wrapped up quickly and then penalizing Sterling should come soon after that.
This isn’t the first time that Sterling has been accused of discrimination. CNN has reported that Sterling has been sued by a former Clippers’ GM for wrongful termination. The Justice Department has also accused sterling of housing discrimination.
If this was Sterling’s first brush with racism accusations, he might be able to be able to say that he’s not a racist but he’s like the boy who cried wolf too many times. There are just too many discriminatory incidents regarding Sterling. His history of alleged discrimination speaks loud and clear and hopefully the NBA is listening to those words and actions of hatred.
What Should his Penalty be?
If the NBA has the power to ban Sterling for life and remove him from being an owner of the Clippers, they should do that. Removing Sterling as owner of the Clippers might be difficult but hopefully they can force him to sell the team, to a guy like…Magic Johnson. Magic Johnson says he’s interested in buying the Clippers.
Johnson owning the Clippers would be a good thing for the club. Magic is loved in LA and he’s an NBA icon. With Magic, this team has a great chance to thrive. Under the ownership of Sterling, the Clippers might dwindle. Their fan base might boycott the team and players/coaches might not want to play for an owner they feel is racist.
I don’t think that Sterling can survive this scandal. If he isn't removed as owner of the team, he will see attendance go down and he will have a tough time recruiting good coaches and players. Who would want to play for this guy? Who would want to be associated with him? I sure wouldn't.