Posted: 2:44 pm Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Sterling banned but this should’ve happened long ago 

By Jeff Schultz

Why did it take a recording of Donald Sterling from girlfriend V. Stiviano (right) before the NBA took his issues seriously?

Why did it take a recording of Donald Sterling from girlfriend V. Stiviano (right) before the NBA took his issues seriously?

Here’s the good news: NBA commissioner Adam Silver, just three months on the job, issued a lifetime ban to the NBA’s longest-tenured owner, Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers, for racist statements.

Here’s the unfortunate news: Silver, a long-time NBA executive, denied the league has ever considered Sterling to have racist or “hateful” tendencies, at one point saying, “I’ve never seen anything in his behavior to support these views.”

There’s an acronym for this: C.Y.A.

Silver and the NBA should be commended for doing the right thing: Sterling was given a lifetime ban and fined $2.5 million, the maximum allowed by the league’s constitution. The commissioner also said he will urge the league’s 29 other owners to take a vote aimed at forcing Sterling to sell the franchise (which requires a three-quarters vote to pass).

There has been some debate as to whether the NBA or Board of Governors held such powers, so this could be an interesting test case if Sterling chooses to fight it, although there seems little reason to remain as owner if he has been banned from games and all club activities.

But Sterling has a long history if racism and sexism, as well as generally being regarded as one of the worst owners in professional sports history.  He settled a 2006 housing discrimination lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice for $2.75 million. He was the subject of a 2009 wrongful termination suit by former Clippers general manager and NBA great Elgin Baylor, who said Sterling had a “plantation mentality” (though the case was rejected by a jury).

Former Villanova coach Rollie Massimino claims that when he was interviewed for a job in 1983, Sterling used a racial epithet. “Here’s this guy, and he has this blonde bimbo with him, they have a bottle of champagne, they’re tanked. And Don looks at me and he says, ‘I wanna know why you think you can coach these n*****s.”

There are other stories, from Sterling refusing to pay $70,000 for an assistant coach’s prostate cancer surgery in 2004 — the players eventually took up a collection — to refusing to pay a fan $1,000 for winning a free throw contest, until mandated to do so by a lawsuit.

Silver countered that the Sterling never has been found legally liable in any case so the NBA’s hands were tied. Even in the Department of Justice case, he admitted no wrong doing.

This all could have been avoided had everybody considered Sterling’s long history of racist acts and words more serious years ago. I blame everybody for that — the NBA and other owners for not doing more to force him out, agents and players for signing with the franchise, coaches for taking jobs there and the media for not applying more pressure.

This is a harsh lesson about what can happen when somebody, particularly a person of Sterling’s stature, is enabled

I’ll be back with more on the Sterling story soon with a full column on MyAJC.com.

Some recent blogs and columns
– Blog: Hawks would support Sterling’s exit
– Blog: SEC blew it by not expanding to nine conference games
– MyAJC: Hawks let one get away but don’t expect a crumble
– Blog: Short takes on Hawks’ Game 4 loss
– MyAJC: Hawks showing playoffs are better than lottery pick
– MyAJC: Hawks, the 8th seed, look like the better team
– Blog: Braves enjoying view despite some issues
– MyAJC: Falcons’ Mike Smith: ‘I’m not a nice guy’
– Blog: Falcons may see tougher Mike Smith in 2014
– MyAJC: Lefty Dreisell is jobbed by Hall of Fame again
– Blog: Texans may deal top pick (Clowney, anyone?)

 

143 comments
Metrodad
Metrodad

............... democratic despotism at work.

Delusionaldog
Delusionaldog

I think the solution is to have more and more babies outside of a traditional marriage from multiple fathers who's mother cannot afford them and send them to union run centrally mandated government schools until they drop out to run hoes, drugs and guns then commute their sentences because it's not fair so they then can buy (or steal) crab-legs on EBT cards and enjoy subsidized healthcare. Repeat. 

DirtyDawg
DirtyDawg

Don't know how much the fact that this SOB stands to 'clear' half a billion dollars if he sells the team and gets what the current appraisal says it's worth. That sucks. I mean so what if he's fined a coupla mil? And so what if he paid twenty mil or something for the team in the first place...all told, he and his family/estate will be fat forever - still prejudiced, and laughing at the situation, all the way to the bank.

How to prevent it? How about the league take over the team and serve as the broker for the sale...and charge a fee for the process that caps what the jerk can profit from the deal. Hell I'd say he shouldn't get a penny more than inflation over his original investment...but that's just me.

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

Gotta love how the $2.5 million is being donated to "help combat ignorance and discrimination".    LOL right, more like to help fatten the pockets of select leftist groups!  If they REALLY wanted to help blacks, they would campaign against AIDS, and against abortion.  Or hell, give out college scholarships with the money, that would do alot more good than some phony campaign to promote diversity like its 1950.  

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

People will stop seeing color when the Cultures are all the same!   Recently a mob of white people pulled a elderly black man out of a car and beat him into a coma for accidentally hitting a 10 yr old little boy. 


This was not national news, Only because the mob was not white, and the elderly man was not black.  When was the last time anyone heard of a white person shooting a black baby in the face?   I for one, will teach my kids racial pride, not because i hate blacks, but because i know just how fkked up hip hop culture is.  Murder is the #1 killer of young blacks for a reason, and it has NOTHING to do with white people or bigotry.  

TampGator1
TampGator1

When we stop seeing color in faces and only the human being under the skin (which most young kids do today....unless taught otherwise by their parents) the world will become a much better place for ALL of us. The NBA will be a better place without Sterling.  Simple as that.  Please argue that point.  Please. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

Not sure how what I posted makes me a bigot, or what I posted has anything to do with Clinton. But I do believe Clinton was impeached for lying about his relationship with an intern while in the White House. 


Please explain.  I am anxious to understand your cognitive thinking process.

Jack_Republican
Jack_Republican

If my boss is a bigot and pays my salary and makes his comments at home, I have no problem with that. If I don't like it, I look for another job. And if cheating on your wife is a crime, let's talk about Clinton.  You're the bigot, TG.

Jack_Republican
Jack_Republican

What the man said is not polite social chatter, but he said it in his own home. Those that condemn him had better be absolutely above reproach.  Hypocrites come in all colors. 

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

Im so Proud of the NBA for being Fair and not only Banning Sterling, but also banning Jay Z, Kanye West, and Larry Johnson for making Bigoted remarks in the past!    This is clearly a step in the right direction towards a society Completely free from Bigotry!  

O wait.. that didn't happen?      Of course not, which is exactly why why we should NEVER accept the UN's desire to pass "Hate Speech laws" in the US like they have in Canada and Europe.  The double standard is shameful.  

doggoneit
doggoneit

Trust me there is Nothing than money can't buy. Admit it , Y'all would turn your heads for a couple of million in the pocket.   COLD HARD FACT.   Sad, but true.

GATiger
GATiger

I respect the owners less today than I did yesterday. The commissioner's action was, as you said, purely a CYA move. Similarly, I respect the players, particularly the Clippers, less than I did. Aldridge's announcement that the players were going to boycott the game was almost laughable. That ship had sailed, boys. If you were going to boycott you would have done it for the last game. This was like the "friend" who, after a scuffle, says, "I had your back in case it got worse."

StonedMountain
StonedMountain

It is simple. You can stand on your rooftop and say blacks are awful, inferior and not welcome in your house.   Fine.  That is freedom of speech.   BUT you cannot apply to own an NBA basketball team.  Why not?  Because they don't welcome you.  Got it?  Free speech.  No NBA team.  Can you stand it?

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

No one is talking about the illegal taping or the fact that Sterling issa registered Democrat......rolfmao.

WW5
WW5

it would be interesting to see sterling sue the nba for trying to "ban" him fom participating in running his nba franchise

lvg
lvg

Somebody's divorce lawyer is very  happy with the result and sale of the team franchise due to an illegally taped conversation. Good day's work. 

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Refer to Jimmy the Greek, think before you speak or live with the consequences. This guy needs to go.

JaySly
JaySly

there are more racist owners the leagues need to ban--im tired of these racists running their teams like plantations and keeping african americans down

thad#2
thad#2

charles barkley said this is a black league on ESPN but no one said a thing.  The guy makes racial slurs all the time and no one says a thing.  If a white man had said this was a white league then it would be on every channel.

thad#2
thad#2

Justified?  Since when did speaking your mind about something in a private conversation become justification for a 2.5 million dollar fine?  I totally disagree with what the guy said but we are taking away freedom everyday just because we might not agree with someones opinion.  The guy has owned the team for 30 years but I havent heard any players complaining about receiving a pay check during that time period.  And since when did morality become important to the media?  Charles Barkley can sit on ESPN and say that this is a black league and get away with racial slurs.  This is media at its best.  No one has enough guts to stand up and say I might not agree with the man for what he says but I agree with his right to say it.  And people keep saying that no one is taking away his freedom of speech??? well that is a joke.  When you fine someone for freedom of speech then you have taken away freedom.  freedom means exactly that.  The constitution didnt say speech comes with a cost.  Going even further, how can you ban someone who owns a team?  What if he owned the stadium?  Bill Clinton lied to his wife and the world about having an affair but it is ok for him to be president.  His lies should have put him out of office.  But the media spins things to fit what they want.  Morality is the word here and they are using it to fit their circumstance.  Tomorrow when one of their own is caught lying and is an extra marital affair then they will say it is his right to choose and do what he wants.  What about what John Kerry said today?  His statements should be all over the news for his comments against the Jewish people of Israel. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Delusionaldog


No, I think the solution is for very conservative, older, white men who stay home all day on their computers or own NBA basketball teams to make racist statements and generalizations about one race.  Yeah boy, Delusional. Yeah boy Sterling,  Remember to get out and vote, Tea Party, next election.  I would say the members of that party mostly think exactly like you....but that would be a generalization about a right wing, ultra conservative, mostly white, political party, wouldn't it?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@BravesFan79 " . . . Recently a mob of white people pulled a elderly black man out of a car and beat him into a coma for accidentally hitting a 10 yr old little boy. 

This was not national news, Only because the mob was not white, and the elderly man was not black . . . ."

_________________________

You might want to revisit this part of your post. First you say the mob was white; then you say the mob was not white. First you say the elderly man was black; then you say the elderly man was not black. Hello?

And it was indeed "national news"; how do you think you found out about it?

TampGator1
TampGator1

@BravesFan79


Who was black and who was white. If you don't know, lord knows we don't know....as if it makes any difference. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@BravesFan79


Yes it does have something to do with white people and bigotry.....because white's from generations past refused proper education and voting rights to blacks, which resulted in generations of black poverty and lack of proper education, as well as a culture of violence you so hate.  Many blacks sir, have overcome that thanks to the Civil Rights Act and are working daily to change that culture through economic development and education, including Charles Barkley, Jay Z and others.  The solution to the "black problems" you mentioned  (and they certainly are not relegated to blacks, sir, no matter how much you rant), is not changing "black culture" to "white culture" or "white culture" to "black culture" or changing culture period.  You change minds by educating them and you make society better through education, and that is what is happened with the Sterling story.  People are being educated (through a white person in this case) that racism is not acceptable in any environment, place, or culture.  You thinking Charles Barkley is a racist means you, sir, need a little more education about Charles Barkley.  He is a proud African American who has succeeded in professional basketball, in business, and in broadcasting.   And Charles usually speaks the truth, although not always in a politically correct manner that you would like.  So does Bill Cosby and many other black Americans in this country.    

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Jack_Republican


So, you don't mind if your boss is a racist bigot as long as he only verbalizes his racist views in private to his minority mistress (and by the way...the man is also cheating on his wife among other things....and not bothering to keep that private). Me, I would prefer a boss with much higher character both in and outside of the workplace......Mr. Jack Republican.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@BravesFan79  


Time for people LIKE YOU to stop this foolishness! When someone opens mouth and inserts foot, let them suffer for what the have said! PERIOD!  If you don't like the remarks that the people you mentioned in your post have made ( and help me with those remarks, causing I am drawing a blank) dont support them and this is what this is all about! TampGator1 is SPOT on; do ANY of these you mentioned own a NBA Team?  Thought not, stop being a part of the problem and be a part of the solution! Every time someone like this makes a DUMBA$$ comment so many people come running out of the woods and try to throw a black person under the bus for comments that they have made! Guess what, when they made those comments they were DUMBA$$ES also and they had to suffer and take what they got for making stupid frigging comments! Let this man have his time in the public eye; he made these comments now he has to live by them! Be a part of the solution and stop playing balance man by making sure you give balance to STUPID A$$ people who make STUPID RACIST COMMENTS!

TampGator1
TampGator1

@BravesFan79


Kanye, Jay Z, and Larry do not own  NBA franchises that are dominated by 95 percent white players.  But Sterling, you see, owns one that is dominated by 95 percent (my perception only) black players.  Big difference, and neither have anything to do with the UN, Canada, or Europe.....or any other extremist view. 

GATiger
GATiger

Agreed and admitted. But the players should have simply applauded the commissioner's decision. Don't tell me "we were ready to boycott" after the fact.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@Iluvnutella  


What the fudge does him being a Democrat have to do with anything?  And the illegal taping will get her dumb A$$ sued! SIMPLE! Stop playing balance man and let Sterling have all the light he wanted in the public eye............gosh people like you are the PROBLEM!

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Iluvnutella


Because it was not an illegal taping because the NBA actions were based on owning an NBA franchise by contract concerning public behavior, and this became public behavior.  He is free to challenge the ruling in court if he wishes.  And bigotry is not limited to one political party or race, so him being a member of one party has absolutely nothing of value to this story.  But his is about human decency, and expressing racist views over the phone or anywhere is not defined as even basic human decency.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@WW5


Based on Sterling history of litigation, I would expect him to do just that.  But he would be better served to become a decent human being, which is obviously is not, and just walk away from his franchise ownership, his minority mistress, and go back to his wife and consider retiring to South Africa.....oh....they also got rid of racist leaders....can't go there either. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@lvg


Again, how was the recording done illegally?  Maybe without his knowledge, but that does not necessarily make it illegal, I believe. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@FoSho


Highly intelligent post there, FoSho.  Any predictions? 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@thad#2


The NBA is a mostly black player league.  Do you have eyes?  Barkley obviously does.  That comment is not racist.  It is a fact.  What Sterling said is racist and not factual.  And Charles Barkely is not a racist.  He speaks his mind a lot, but it is never racist.....not yet....anyway. 


By the way, it would be big, big news if the NBA became a "white league" and would be all over ESPN and even FOXNews.....for sure FOXNews. 

WW5
WW5

hockey is a white league

NajehDavenpoop
NajehDavenpoop

@thad#2  It's a majority black league. That isn't an opinion, it's a fact. As non-controversial as someone pointing out that the NHL is a majority white league, which gets pointed out all the time. 


It is amusing to watch all you idiots bend over backwards like contortionists to find your "but what about..." scenarios. Makes me think that perhaps some level of paranoia may be underlying these reactions. You know, like maybe if someone were to record you without your knowledge at home, you'd get caught saying a lot of the same things Sterling said.

HotDawg
HotDawg

I'll bet most blacks want all black teams in all sports today. Almost heading back to being the old negro leagues. But in a voluntary way.

I say go ahead. Won't have to hear a lot of the BS anymore. They can F up their own league or make it thrive. Up to them.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@thad#2  

I obviously missed the part about how Sterling was being prosecuted by the government for what he said.  His racist comments (not to mention his previous racist actions) have the potential to cost his 29 partners a great deal of money and they are the ones fining him.

People can say whatever they want in the US but if you don't think that it can come with a cost ask the Dixie Chicks what happened when they made stupid comments.

BravesFan79
BravesFan79

@AnsweredTHIS @BravesFan79  Exaclty how did Kanye or Jay Z,or even Larry Johnson suffer for their Bigoted comments?   Im interested in hearing this one.  And lets not forget Little Wayne released a song last year basically promoting the rape of white women.. yet hes still allowed at NBA games?    
Im confused here homie, i thought u said all was fair and equal?

TampGator1
TampGator1

@WW5


It is mostly a Canadian and European, white league. 

HotDawg
HotDawg

Najeh.....Don't have to bend over backwards to find hypocrisy. Of course, you called people you disagree with "idiots", when i'll bet you want call them all racists. Hmmm?

I'd also bet if we heard a taped recording in your home, there would be a whole lotta bigoted and racist comments against white people. Hmmm?

WW5
WW5

the dixie chicks were sanctioned by society not the country music hall of fame

TampGator1
TampGator1

@BravesFan79


First, what racist comments did those you mentioned make?  I do not remember.  Kanye made a stupid comment at an awards program for music achievement and caught all kinds of grief for it.  It hurt his career for a while.  Not sure what JayZ said or did, other than making a stupid trip to Cuba with his wife.  And Larry Johnson, what did he do or say?  I have no idea who he is even.  But Stephen Smith, the black announcer on TV said something stupid not long ago and was suspended for a while.  I think, 79, you need to change you sunglasses.....and you thinking.   

TampGator1
TampGator1

@WW5


But a black man saying the above would not be racist in nature.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@HotDawg Keep talking buddy, that hole is getting deeper and deeper/

NajehDavenpoop
NajehDavenpoop

@HotDawg  I don't call people idiots who disagree with me. I call people idiots who, when confronted with a story about a despicable human being getting his rightful comeuppance, choose to misinterpret the 1st Amendment and veer off into tangential what-if scenarios that don't exist in real life, as if the aforementioned despicable human being is on the wrong end of some nonexistent double standard. 


And regarding your betting skills, I suggest you stick to your day job.

JSSN
JSSN

@WW5  

The people who went after the Dixie Chicks were not the "whole of the society." They were a portion, what was their term: "Mission Accomplished?"