Posted: 12:33 pm Monday, April 28th, 2014

For the good of the NBA, Donald Sterling must go 

By Mark Bradley

The Clippers and their generic shirts. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

The protesting Clippers and their generic shirts. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

On a karmic level, the best punishment the NBA could administer to Donald Sterling would be to make him keep owning the Los Angeles Clippers for the next decade. Imagine how that would be. What player not currently under contract would agree to play for him? What coach — Doc Rivers, in Year 1 on the job, has said he’s not sure if he wants to continue– would want to work for him? How many games would they win then? And, given that Sterling is on record as preferring that African-Americans not come to his team’s games, how many sellouts would the Clippers ever see?

The trouble, alas, is that as delicious as it would be to see Sterling forced to stew in his own juices, it would be disastrous for the NBA. They’re one of 30 NBA franchisees. If they fall to pieces, the entire Association is diminished. For that reason, the NBA has no choice but to give Sterling the boot — to force him to sell the team for the greater good of the game.

It’s not as if Sterling just turned into a cretin when talking to his girlfriend with the tape running. He has been an imbecile for decades. The wonder isn’t that he was caught saying something so outrageous that the NBA is being forced to decide whether it can continue to countenance having him as an owner; the wonder is that it took this long.

Back when the Atlanta Spirit was suing each other, it was fashionable to say that the Atlanta Hawks had descended to the level of the Clippers. That was an overstatement. No teams ever sink that far. Sterling has long since retired the trophy as the league’s worst owner. Remember when general manager Elgin Baylor had what seemed a permanent seat at the NBA draft lottery because the Clips never got any better? Remember that even the long-suffering Baylor was moved to sue Sterling for being wrongfully fired on grounds of racial and age discrimination? (Baylor would later drop the racial claim; a jury ultimately sided with Sterling.)

On Sunday, the Clippers took the floor in Oakland leading a playoff series 2-1. The Clippers, as we know, have never done much of anything in postseason, but this spring has — what with San Antonio and Houston trailing in their series and Oklahoma City tied with Memphis — breakthrough potential. Or at least it had. The Clippers warmed up wearing shirts that didn’t feature the team logo, having dropped their warmup jackets at center court. Then they lost by 21 points.

It wasn’t fair to them to have to play a game while working for a man who stands revealed as the sort of man for whom nobody wants to work. But that’s the Sterling Effect: Even when he somehow builds a good team, he manages to wreck it. He needs to be gone from the NBA, gone this minute, gone for good.

80 comments
Domina8r
Domina8r

Obama should confiscate the league and give it to Trayvon's baby daddy.

THEBuckeyes1
THEBuckeyes1

Sooooooooo why is there no uproar over the fact that the NBA is only 15% - 20% white?  I find it funny that certain people are worried about the lack of blacks in MLB but the lack of whites in the NBA is not an issue.

JaySly
JaySly

LA players need to go on strike and stop making money for this racist owner--he need to be kicked out the league asap

kenstallings
kenstallings

I agree he should go.  


I also hope the NAACP takes a fresh look at deciding on awards based on how much money one donates to them.  It is an ultimate irony that the NAACP was on the cusp of awarding Donald Sterling a lifetime achievement award despite the fact he was previously twice sued for racism.


Once by the government for violating laws on equality in renting homes and apartments.  The second suit was a civil action filed by Elgin Baylor.  Both suits ended well for Sterling.  But, those two suits indicated a pattern of behavior with this man.  I am frankly tired of money being a tool to buy bad people out of the kinds of recriminations reserved for non-wealthy people.

BasketballTopFan
BasketballTopFan

BasketballTopFan(c URGE the National Basketball Association (NBA) to take firm and decisive actions against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling  !!!



JohnDeere2
JohnDeere2

This whole thing seems like a setup. I'm not making excuses for what is in this man's 80 year old heart but it does seem ironic that Magic Johnson's partners want to buy the Clippers.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

Mark - it is up to Sterling's 29 partners to decide what to do and my money is on them trying to force him out.  Which guy owning an NBA franchise wants to be in business with him?

I have to wonder though why they have waited until this occured  Sterling has a long history of discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act.  He settled one suit back in 2003 for over $5 million.  In that one he was charged with trying to force blacks and hispanics out of apartments he owned n LA.  In 2009 he paid another $2.7 million to settle another housing discrimination lawsuit - this time for refusin to rent to blacks, hispanics or people with children

ElStinko
ElStinko

What this guy said was wrong but he was in his home so doesn't he have the right to say and think what he wants?  He never threatened anybody did he?  Isn't this free speech?

JohnLeece
JohnLeece

Dumb comments, racist comments...but private comments made to his girlfriend. The fact that private phone calls are taped and broadcast is an invasion of privacy of civil right, something that should concern us all. Look at his hiring practices. His public statements and actions are what he should be judged by, not by ignorant comments to a girlfriend.

General Lee
General Lee

The real problem with this is the media... we all say things in private that should stay private. This country has a huge problem and the media are like fly on sh#t when they see something they think will make a story. That little half breed b#tch was looking for  a way to get in the spot light and try to milk money out of him. His players are owned by him they take the millions of dollars and would be working a mickey d's otherwise.

cosperm1
cosperm1

Set up by his bimbo ho, gold digging at its best, yes he 's a fool for running with this bimbo, but then again there are plenty of old politicians doing the same thing the media covers it up, two sides to every story, there will be a lot of crow eatin when ALL of the truth comes out lol 

General Lee
General Lee

Donald Sterling owns slaves.... he is doing it the legal way....good for him. He just don't whip them like he should! 

TheCarnivore
TheCarnivore

Let the market decide ... if people want to boycott the Clippers, let them.  But here's the deal ... I don't see any of the Clippers rushing to skip out on their contracts and become unrestricted free agents.  Bottom line is they don't care that much about his comments ... if they did, they wouldn't cash Sterling's paychecks.

Esquire
Esquire

What I am really sorry for is I am going to have to watch the media blow this up in my face everyday for weeks and months to come.  The old coot is a fool and he got set up by his woman.   He didn't say he doesn't like black folk, he just doesn't like his woman associating with men who make him feel even more insecure than he already does.  

ChuckAllison
ChuckAllison

Why don't we force Sterling to wear a "thought monitor"?  Then, if the monitor detects that he is even thinking a thought that Bradley thinks is racist, then we could just immediately stone him.

We have all decided that any opinion that even remotely considers exclusion of any race from anything is unacceptably evil, right?  Surely he realizes that only certain opinions are acceptable these days!

CreamofBuckwheat
CreamofBuckwheat

Yeah let's dump the bum he's ugly too. I thought our half-black president was going to be the great uniter but it appears his regime would rather be petty and divisive. I like Charles Barkley and he announces that the NBA is a black club but that's ok I guess. No room for white folks, we got hockey.

Diddler-on-the-Roof
Diddler-on-the-Roof

So the owner is a racist fool... The big story here is his young MINORITY girlfriend still bouncing on his old balls just for some residual $$$.  THAT IS SORRY, and tells you a lot about her level of class

Jazzy501
Jazzy501

He will have someone buy the team for him, however, he will still own it! He knows what he has too do and he will do it!  If he don't, it's up to the people!  He's been a racist all his life, this is nothing new to him or for him.  He simply got caught.  All Black-African American People should not go to another game until he sells the team!

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

So, Mark, we're supposed to believe nobody ever signed on to work for a jerk before? A lot of people have and will continue to go to work for boorish bosses, because they sign checks. Who owns your company?

GuyOnThisSite
GuyOnThisSite

I suppose they could change the rules, but as currently written as long as he pays the bills, there's nothing the NBA's owners can do.

Let the market figure it out. If Clippers ticket sales plummet then he'll leave on his own soon enough. If they don't plummet, it will show that a lot of people care about the product, not the opinions of the owner.

AtlantaJeff
AtlantaJeff

I'm sitting in a conference room full of white males as I read this.  If a black man showed up, there would be some polite tension and somehow color/race would enter our conversation. This is a greater tragedy than some old billionaire being a drunk fool.

hank89
hank89

The conversation that needs to be had is why a white person cannot sing the words to music without being labeled a racist? (I mean hip hop, not DIXIE)


When that can happen we will be a better country.


The only two words  I find offensive are "You're fired".

LCJ32
LCJ32

The sadest thing is I and many others that I know are not surprised by this. We experience it everyday - at work, while driving, in resturants, at school, etc. In other words - Institutionalized Racism! Unfortunately, it is not going to change until a true, candid conversation takes place and creatures (because I cannot call them people) stop wearing the white "hoods" period. Just in today's world, the hoods are not always worn. I honestly respect people like Sterling more than those who "try" to hide their racism. There is no excuse for it because we were equally created by GOD, bleed red blood, breathe the same air. However, the African-Americans are the only people who were uprooted from their homeland and mistreated yet never received what they were promised. How much would the 40 acres and a mule be worth today? 

hank89
hank89

Anyone who did not know who this man was has had their head in the sand or an idiot.  I do not watch basketball except for the highlights on ESPN and I knew he was a bigot.  Magic and Doc had never heard about this fool before?  Are you serious? I am not in any way defending this man or what he said but, i carried a rifle in Iraq for his right to say it.  


Consequences are for actions not thoughts or words. (Don't throw the terroristic threats or fire crap, I understand clear and present danger)  If the market punishes him then fine, if players won't play, or fans won't show up fine, even suspend him from attending games.  But, to take his property is simply wrong.  


Again RACISM is having power to enforce prejudiced views.


His words reflect his PREJUDICED views.  

CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith
CynthiaTuckerrhymeswith

The old guy's a fool.

The NBA is  a bunch of fools.

Just because you are a fool or an idiot, you don't have to give up a business - look at Ted Turner in and after the 'Fonda years'.  Not a racist fools but a fool.  Does it really matter the type?

Whites really cannot say anything about blacks and not have it called 'racism'.  These were correctly called racist statements, but I'd offer the situation as an ameliorating factor...that and the old guy's age.

Don't listen to fools of any stripe or color.  They are fools...and fools writing about this and covering the airwaves about this are also...you guessed it - fools.

The sooner we go back to the old 'sticks and stones will break my bones' attitude, the better off we'll all be.

slaughdog
slaughdog

I see all the "keyboard racist" commenting on Sterling comments---defending him because it's "just words". Racism is still alive in ths country,especially in Georgia & the rest of the "dumb south", oh, I meant the "deep south'.

Baghead
Baghead

Woh.  Wait.  What?  "It wasn’t fair to them to have to play a game while working for a man who stands revealed as the sort of man for whom nobody wants to work."  Bradley,do you realize that applies to most of corporate america?   You just rationalized being a loser, quitter and whiner like this team did the other night.  They obviously lost the desire to be champions when they received their first NBA check.  What a joke that this is being publicized.  I wish I could get Michelle O on tape saying all of the racist stuff she says behind closed doors.

hank89
hank89

DawgnIT  


My point was if you think no one would play for him you are insane.  I would play for the devil himself for a max contract.  What is the big deal what he thinks as long as he doesn't use his position to act on those thoughts?  His team is not all white with a white front office and spelled with a K-lippers.  I have thought about many things and even said some things that I did not do.  

daytona
daytona

What about this married man flaunting is Black/Hispanic girlfriend in public...what about his wife?

GTBoro
GTBoro

Apparently Sterling, himself, is now commenting on this blog. Shameful.

Domina8r
Domina8r

@FoSho  He be owning tha team.  This isn't North Korea.

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

@ElStinko Go learn what "free speech" means then go learn about entitlements vs rights.  Once you understand these topics go read up on accountability, personal responsibility, and consequences.

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

@JohnLeece We are all judged by EVERYTHING we do whether it's public or private.  Saying that someone shouldn't be judged for what he thinks/says when the cameras aren't rolling is just living in fantasy land.  That's the world in which we live.


Oh, and by the way, when a person is in front of cameras, what you're seeing is a persona.  A character designed to gain your approval.  It's better to judge the private conversations because private statements are more representative of who a person really is.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@sssinff

I have something to say............what the fudge does this have to do with the article?

hank89
hank89

@AtlantaJeff  Then you sir are 

prejudiced.

MikeJay
MikeJay

@LCJ32

Slavery had a very long history prior to the African slave trade.  It really began with the advent of social stratification and the evolution from huner-gathers thousand of years before AD even.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@hank89

What do you call refusing to rent to blacks and hispanics?

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

@hank89 The NBA hasn't done anything yet but if they do punish Sterling then it would be to mitigate potential market damages.  I don't see why you can't wrap your head around this concept.  Owning a business is not an entitlement to continued success.  Businesses come and go all the time for different reasons.


Upsetting partners and customers is usually a big reason for a business to fail.

Truth-B-Told
Truth-B-Told

@slaughdog Racism is still alive in America period! The south is just more outspoken about it than other regions of America. I can respect the south more for that as appose to states that act as though their not, like enemies with knives behind their backs. Truly....the south isn't dumb. We just haven't jumped on the 1000 mile per hour train to hell like many other states!

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@Baghead

Go ahead you know about "Michelle O on tape saying all of the racist stuff she says behind closed doors"......enlighten us since you are the fly on the wall...............IDIOT!

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

@hank89 You don't have the right to avoid consequences in life.  He offended people and he will pay the price.  Life works that way.

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

@daytona It's okay to disrespect your wife as long as you're being a bigot!

slydawg
slydawg

The slavemaster has been doing that for 500 years. It's normal...lol

sssinff
sssinff

@AnsweredTHIS A little levity.....someone earlier cited MO's supposed use of racially charged language as a way to rationalize Sterling's actions. Flawed logic, but this is great!

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@Esquire @AnsweredTHIS

And yet again what does this have to do with Sterling.........please stick to topic. As soon as something like this goes down it gets more and more embarrassing for someone to grab something and say " look at what a black person said" really? Shows how stupid some people are.....................