NBA imposes lifetime ban on Sterling, $2.5 million fine

posted at 2:41 pm on April 29, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

What are the wages of racism in the NBA, at least when it can’t be overlooked?  TMZ heard it would be an indefinite suspension and a big fine, but the league had a tougher punishment in mind:

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life for making racist remarks to his girlfriend on tape.

He also fined him $2.5 million, and encouraged the NBA Board of Governors to vote to terminate Sterling’s ownership — forcing him to sell the team.

We’ll get to the sale in a moment. What does a lifetime ban look like when applied to an owner? Much the same as a similar one applied to Marge Schott by Major League Baseball a couple of decades ago:

Can the league owners force Sterling to sell? The league’s constitution is secret, so most can only speculate — although one would presume that Silver knows it well enough to make this case. The other owners may not force Sterling to sell, but he may have little choice in any case. The Los Angeles Clippers are having their best season on the court, but they broke records of another kind with corporate sponsors:

All it took was one day for the Los Angeles Clippers to lose all of its corporate sponsors. This must be some kind of record.

More than a dozen companies have ended their relationships with the National Basketball Association team or have suspended activities after owner Donald Sterling was allegedly recorded making racist remarks in a phone conversation. Over the weekend, a recording of his comments went public on TMZ and other sites.

Corona, the beer company thought to be the last major sponsor holding out, said Monday afternoon it would suspend its agreement with the team until the NBA completes its investigation into the issue.

“Like everyone else, Corona is appalled by the comments allegedly made by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” Corona parent Constellation Brands said in a released statement. “These comments run counter to the type of brand Corona aspires to be.”

State Farm started the exodus. Even Amtrak — whose sponsorship run finished a few weeks ago but had considered re-engaging — says those plans are now derailed. The problem for the league is that two teams play in every game, and it may not just be the Clippers’ sponsors who want to keep their distance from Sterling and Clipper games. This could create a league-wide meltdown, and the NBA needs to act quickly to prevent it.

Nor may players want to sign up for Sterling’s team, and the current roster may look for less-green pastures when their contracts expire. Kavitha Davidson writes at Bloomberg that the invisible hand of the market may end up dictating league action:

For the most part, however, Sterling’s colleagues have remained silent, wary of the precedent that would be set by stripping a fellow owner of his team for non-financial reasons. And, despite the calls for them to boycott the playoffs, it’s unfair to expect the burden of punishing Sterling to fall entirely on the players and coaches, whose life goal has been to win a championship.

The onus then falls to the invisible hand of the market to force Sterling to spare us all of his continued presence in the league. You can’t fault Chris Paul for staying on the team — he has four years and more than $88 million left on his contract. But you can be certain that after the current roster’s deals all expire, the Clippers won’t be able to sign many free agents should Sterling remain the team’s owner. Outside of the Lakers, Los Angeles would become the Chernobyl of the NBA. …

Donald Sterling needs to be hit where it’ll hurt him the most: his wallet. A man who insists he’s not racist while continuing to deny the dignity of black men will stubbornly keep his aging hands gripped around his team until he’s forced to give it up. Fortunately, there are plenty of wealthy people looking to own an NBA team — among them,Magic Johnson himself. To watch him go from not being welcome at Clippers games to occupying the owner’s box would be a fitting resolution to this ugly ordeal.

I mention that as a potentially perfect outcome of poetic justice in my column at The Week today. I also note that we may have made great strides in fighting racism, but the Sterling example shows that it’s not gone altogether:

Peter Wehner wondered in his Commentary column yesterday “how, based on these incidents, I would feel if I were a black person in America in 2014.” His answer: “Pretty sick to my stomach.”

Indeed. And one doesn’t have to be black to feel sickened by it, especially coming from someone whose business and social interests have for so long been intertwined with the African-American community. Our hopes for national reconciliation after the centuries-long legacy of slavery and Jim Crow rested on the premise that getting to know each other and live with each other in our communities would eliminate animosity and ignorance. The reason that Sterling’s alleged rant hits a nerve is because it presents at least an anecdotal challenge to that premise.

However, the news in this case isn’t entirely depressing. First, Sterling has no public-sector power. Second, he knew enough to hide his true feelings from his private-sector interests, well enough that he was about to accept an honor from the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, which has understandably rescinded the invitation. Those embarrassing relatives from so long ago usually lacked the self-realization to hide their retrograde attitudes. “I’m sure there are some Sterling supporters lurking in the shadows,” Bernard Goldberg wrote this week. “But that’s good news too.They’re in the shadows! That’s not always how it was in America.” …

We may not see perfect justice and an end to racism in the hearts of all Americans in our lifetime, but we can certainly hope to see it — and even in this episode take heart in how much we have done in such a short time. But we should not allow political demagoguery to blind us to the fact that we haven’t succeeded yet, and that those who lived through worse times understandably worry that we could relapse.

Instead of pretending that racism doesn’t exist, or pretending that nothing has changed and everything is racism, let’s focus on the real problems that still persist.

It will be interesting to see whether Sterling capitulates to get out of the public eye, or whether he takes the league to court. The league’s owners might not be happy to open up their books and constitution to court scrutiny, so perhaps Sterling can buffalo them into an “indefinite suspension” and limbo status in the end. Given how much Sterling stands to gain in a sale, though, he may be already angling for a quick exit now.


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It is no longer sufficient to just write the guy off as another a$$hole and jerk in a world filled with them and go on.

farsighted on April 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Nope, the more vociferously you condemn the more socially acceptable you are…the outrage porn industry should have taught you that much in recent years.

jimver on April 29, 2014 at 10:12 PM

farsighted on April 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Your comment is hyperbolic and not an accurate representation of the criticism leveled here. No one is talking about requisite outrage. One is talking about defending or mitigating the comments.

CivilDiscourse on April 29, 2014 at 10:12 PM

You guys supporting these PoS Racists picks my pockets because it makes it more difficult to elect a Congress and President that will lower taxes and create economic growth.

Skipity on April 29, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Holy crap. You are an idiot.

DisneyFan on April 29, 2014 at 10:12 PM

You assume it was an illegal recording. I heard Sterling told her to record all their phone calls because he’s forgetful and forgets what he said.

You heard that he said..

From whom? The gold digger hanging on magic johnson?

In CA, you need consent to be recorded.

Seen any proof of consent?

wolly4321 on April 29, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Sterling is in effect picking the pockets of the other 29 owners so that’s the difference.

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 10:07 PM

That’s their problem.

Life sure is tough when you get to own a piece of a government sanctioned big money monopoly.

farsighted on April 29, 2014 at 10:13 PM

So now we are in the the phase where the level of outrage one expresses is examined.

If you do not express sufficient, and what is deemed to be a required minimum, level of outrage about the racist comments some guy made in private, well, then you come under suspicion yourself.

And if you question the punishment in any way, well, then you come under suspicion yourself.

This is what America has become.

It is no longer sufficient to just write the guy off as another a$$hole and jerk in a world filled with them and go on.

farsighted on April 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Bingo.

DisneyFan on April 29, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Your comment is hyperbolic

CivilDiscourse on April 29, 2014 at 10:12 PM

My comment is dead on.

farsighted on April 29, 2014 at 10:14 PM

He was fined $2.5 million dollars.

That might be a mistaken inference on my part because as I assumed you were referencing the sale of the team itself. If they are taking away his $2.5 million in accordance with league rules governing conduct of ownership then he should have known what he was getting himself into when he bought the team.

“Forced to sell” rarely means that someone is going to get fair market value. Every buyer knows that they have him over a barrel.

Unless there are multiple offers and a bidding war commences. I remember there was a lot of interest in a group from Seattle relocating the Sacramento team there not long ago so if anyone emerges to try to keep the Clippers in LA then the value’s going to go up.

Because it’s right to give someone due process rather than just proceed to judgment. Perhaps that’s an antiquated notion and it would probably turn out the same way, but this idiot, and he is, hasn’t had any means of defending himself. Indeed, this story just blew up yesterday. I doubt I could even hire a lawyer in that timeframe.

How do you know he wasn’t? The evidence is pretty clear what every major sponsor very publicly abandoning ship. How much longer does the league have to wait?

I’m aware of that and it’s a good and valid point. It does seem to me that judgment skipped a step here though and it’s been done with a mob mentality, overnight.
Give them their trial and then you can shoot ‘em. That’s all I ask.

V7_Sport on April 29, 2014 at 10:01 PM

My previous point hits this. It’s not like there’s got to be a massive gathering of evidence here, especially when the facts aren’t really in doubt. Sterling did admit those were his words, didn’t he? No one disputes the loss of millions in sponsorship or its affect on the league’s bottom line. Rather than ask “What’s the rush?” at this point with none of the facts in dispute the more apt question might be “What’s the hold up?”

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 10:15 PM

the outrage porn industry should have taught you that much in recent years.

jimver on April 29, 2014 at 10:12 PM

God help any of you say that WASPs always get out of the shower to pee.

V7_Sport on April 29, 2014 at 10:16 PM

My comment is dead on.

Please tell me how my last post is wrong.

CivilDiscourse on April 29, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Steve Doocy pointed out that TMZ reported on Monday that Sterling had asked his girlfriend to record him for over 100 hours because he was forgetful.

Skipity on April 29, 2014 at 10:22 PM

So now we are in the the phase where the level of outrage one expresses is examined.

If you do not express sufficient, and what is deemed to be a required minimum, level of outrage about the racist comments some guy made in private, well, then you come under suspicion yourself.

And if you question the punishment in any way, well, then you come under suspicion yourself.

This is what America has become.

It is no longer sufficient to just write the guy off as another a$$hole and jerk in a world filled with them and go on.

farsighted on April 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Nicely stated.

Ricard on April 29, 2014 at 10:26 PM

…by how much…?

Ricard on April 29, 2014 at 10:10 PM

By millions of dollars, I would suspect.

The league shares sponsorship revenue equally so everyone pools all their money together and then everyone gets a 1/30th cut. After having lost every major sponsor the Clippers contribution to the pool is now $0 but they still get their share of the total after not contributing. So they’re basically Democrats.

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 10:27 PM

TMZ??

“your Honor, we have it from a reliable source a senile old made told a gold digging whore that was hanging all over a cheating aids infected cheater that was thinkingabout buying the team..”

wolly4321 on April 29, 2014 at 10:33 PM

Re.alchemist19

If they are taking away his $2.5 million in accordance with league rules governing conduct of ownership then he should have known what he was getting himself into when he bought the team.

So rules are rules.

Because it’s right to give someone due process rather than just proceed to judgment. Perhaps that’s an antiquated notion and it would probably turn out the same way, but this idiot, and he is, hasn’t had any means of defending himself. Indeed, this story just blew up yesterday. I doubt I could even hire a lawyer in that timeframe.

How do you know he wasn’t?

The timeframe. I haven’t heard a peep out of him.

The evidence is pretty clear what every major sponsor very publicly abandoning ship. How much longer does the league have to wait?

Until he has had sufficient time to answer these charges or state that he isn’t going to.

It’s not like there’s got to be a massive gathering of evidence here, especially when the facts aren’t really in doubt. Sterling did admit those were his words, didn’t he?

I wasn’t aware that he had.

Rather than ask “What’s the rush?” at this point with none of the facts in dispute the more apt question might be “What’s the hold up?”

Ever see The Ox-Bow Incident? It’s a good flick, Harry Morgan actually turned in an excellent performance as Henry Fonda’s sidekick.
You wait for the SOB to have some kind of defense because otherwise it’s mob justice. I honestly think due process is more important than whether some other douchebag like Mark Cubin has a good balance sheet this month. I think it’s an important concept, even for a creep like Sterling.
I do see your point though.

V7_Sport on April 29, 2014 at 10:34 PM

please tell me how my last post is wrong. CivilDiscourse on April 29, 2014 at 10:18 PM

I would waste my time doing it.

You yourself explained why.

wolly4321 on April 29, 2014 at 10:36 PM

please tell me how my last post is wrong. CivilDiscourse on April 29, 2014 at 10:18 PM
I would waste my time doing it.
You yourself explained why.
wolly4321 on April 29, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Insufficient.

CivilDiscourse on April 29, 2014 at 10:39 PM

the outrage porn industry should have taught you that much in recent years.

jimver on April 29, 2014 at 10:12 PM

God help any of you say that WASPs always get out of the shower to pee.

V7_Sport on April 29, 2014 at 10:16 PM

i’ll start a hashtag on twitter on this, and await the verbal guilottine :)…but seriously, I was shocked to see how many people that I follow on twitter (not talking about my acquaintances) felt the need to react to this…one guy, some techie from Sillicon Valley that I follow posted something like ‘my heart goes out to Clippers’ or similar, and someone who was following him, but obviously not the news went like : ‘OMG, why, what happened’ :)… they thought a player died or something :)…looks like the outrage porn industry is working its way into the collective psyche :)…

jimver on April 29, 2014 at 10:41 PM

I blame right wing websites for this debacle.
They pushed for maximum punishment because they thought Sterling was a democrat as a means of getting even with the Bundy stuff.

weedisgood on April 29, 2014 at 10:41 PM

By millions of dollars, I would suspect.

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 10:27 PM

In other words, you don’t know.

The sponsors who left then rapidly returned actually might not have missed a payment, the time was so short.

Ricard on April 29, 2014 at 10:42 PM

By millions of dollars, I would suspect.

The league shares sponsorship revenue equally so everyone pools all their money together and then everyone gets a 1/30th cut. After having lost every major sponsor the Clippers contribution to the pool is now $0 but they still get their share of the total after not contributing. So they’re basically Democrats.

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 10:27 PM

Nope. They don’t pool all their money together, not even close. Some teams have two or three times more revenue than others after the revenue sharing. The revenue from the national TV deal and league-wide sponsorship is automatically shared. However, teams only share a part of their local revenue (that, on aggregate, is the largest part of the NBA revenue), about $140 million per year (to a total annual revenue above $4 billion). How much a team contributes and receives depends on their own revenue and their salary structure – teams with higher payrolls contribute to the pool via a luxury tax and that money is distributed to teams with a lower payroll. And the Clippers still have the tickets and tv deal revenue.

joana on April 29, 2014 at 10:44 PM

So rules are rules.

Most times, yes. I’m a law and order sort.

The timeframe. I haven’t heard a peep out of him.

The fact he hasn’t spoken to the media doesn’t mean he hasn’t spoken to the league. This “trial” will occur according to their rules, not the public.

Until he has had sufficient time to answer these charges or state that he isn’t going to.

Again, you don’t know that he didn’t. I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine someone from the league has spoken to him privately even if they haven’t spoken publicly.

I wasn’t aware that he had.

He did. The main ESPN story running on this mess right now quotes the commissioner saying Sterling admitted to him that’s really him on the tape.

Ever see The Ox-Bow Incident? It’s a good flick, Harry Morgan actually turned in an excellent performance as Henry Fonda’s sidekick.

Nope, but I do like both Morgan and Fonda.

You wait for the SOB to have some kind of defense because otherwise it’s mob justice. I honestly think due process is more important than whether some other douchebag like Mark Cubin has a good balance sheet this month. I think it’s an important concept, even for a creep like Sterling.
I do see your point though.

V7_Sport on April 29, 2014 at 10:34 PM

It might not be important to you that Mark Cuban (or the other owners) have a good balance sheet this month but I bet it’s important to them that they do. Sports franchise ownership is a billionaire’s club and you don’t get to be one of those by not caring about your bottom line. I know if I were an owner and it was my money he was losing then I’d want him out of there as quickly as possible.

Swift justice doesn’t necessarily equal mob justice either. As soon as Sterling was positively identified as the man on the tape and the corporate sponsors had the reaction they did I think it all became pretty academic. For all we know some sort of “trial” and “defense” happened and we just aren’t privy to it. The NBA is the lawful governing body of their own affairs and it isn’t obligated to handle its internal matters in a public forum or to release detailed accounts of its deliberations once they’ve wrapped it up.

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 10:56 PM

In other words, you don’t know.

The sponsors who left then rapidly returned actually might not have missed a payment, the time was so short.

Ricard on April 29, 2014 at 10:42 PM

The exact figures aren’t know because the team’s finances aren’t public. But if you don’t want to take my word for it here’s an excerpt of the relevant part of a story that I can’t post the link for for some reason.

With Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in hot water following the release of racist comments that were attributed to him, it’s not only the team franchise that’s feeling the chill of suspended and terminated corporate sponsorships. The league-wide revenue sharing system in place means that the NBA as a whole will take an economic hit.

Each of the league’s 30 teams contributes an equal percentage of its own franchise sponsorship revenue into the revenue-sharing system, which then evenly distributes the accumulated league-wide revenue pool back to the franchises.

and

“These team-specific sponsorships that the Clippers lost would play into that revenue-sharing system,” said Alicia Jessop, a sports law professor at the University of Miami. “Because they’re gone, that means that less money goes into the revenue-sharing system, which means less money for the other 29 teams.”

So, yes, Sterling’s picking 29 pockets.

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 11:10 PM

If you do not express sufficient, and what is deemed to be a required minimum, level of outrage about the racist comments some guy made in private, well, then you come under suspicion yourself.

farsighted on April 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM

It’s best to very loudly condemn Goldstein during the Two Minutes Hate so the people around you see how supportive you are of the Party.

malclave on April 29, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Bmore on April 29, 2014 at 5:41 PM

If you don’t think players are frequently filmed without their consent, you haven’t been paying attention.

sandbun on April 29, 2014 at 5:50 PM

If you don’t understand why I made the comment. You haven’t been paying attention.

Bmore on April 29, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Each of the league’s 30 teams contributes an equal percentage of its own franchise sponsorship revenue

So, yes, Sterling’s picking 29 pockets.

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 11:10 PM

By the same logic that a tax cut costs the government money…

malclave on April 29, 2014 at 11:16 PM

Nope. They don’t pool all their money together, not even close. Some teams have two or three times more revenue than others after the revenue sharing. The revenue from the national TV deal and league-wide sponsorship is automatically shared. However, teams only share a part of their local revenue (that, on aggregate, is the largest part of the NBA revenue), about $140 million per year (to a total annual revenue above $4 billion). How much a team contributes and receives depends on their own revenue and their salary structure – teams with higher payrolls contribute to the pool via a luxury tax and that money is distributed to teams with a lower payroll. And the Clippers still have the tickets and tv deal revenue.

joana on April 29, 2014 at 10:44 PM

That’s more or less what I said (what I was trying to say?). Having lost all their major local corporate sponsors the Clippers won’t have anything to contribute to that $140 million. Being situated in the second-largest media market in the country in one of the six (I think) states where basketball rates as the most popular sport it’s reasonable to assume the Clippers were one of the larger contributors to the shared revenue pie. Now that their income is down because of their sponsors abandoning them they’re a huge net taker from a smaller pie.

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 11:19 PM

By the same logic that a tax cut costs the government money…

malclave on April 29, 2014 at 11:16 PM

As much as I would like to post an Inigo Montoya meme…..

Try again.

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 11:23 PM

So, yes, Sterling’s picking 29 pockets.

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 11:10 PM

That’s written more like speculative sensationalism. I don’t see any facts relative to how much a team would lose if a sponsor was ‘gone’ for 24 hours or even if a sponsor can turn off the money spigot that quickly. So in short, there’s no ‘word to take’ for anything of substance in that story.

And actually, I would say it’s the sponsor’s over-reaction that’s costing the NBA. Sterling’s comments are being blown way out of proportion in this age of hyper-sensitivity.

Ricard on April 29, 2014 at 11:41 PM

That’s more or less what I said (what I was trying to say?). Having lost all their major local corporate sponsors the Clippers won’t have anything to contribute to that $140 million. Being situated in the second-largest media market in the country in one of the six (I think) states where basketball rates as the most popular sport it’s reasonable to assume the Clippers were one of the larger contributors to the shared revenue pie. Now that their income is down because of their sponsors abandoning them they’re a huge net taker from a smaller pie.

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 11:19 PM

They can’t be takers as their payroll this season is $72,660,813 – above the luxury tax threshold of $71,748,000.

They’ll still contribute to the pie. If the income from the local TV deal, concessions and tickets isn’t enough to meet their obligations, they’ll use their savings or take a loan.

I’m not sure what’s your overall point, but a team running a negative bottom line, an economic deficit, or even facing liquidity problems doesn’t give the NBA the power to terminate that team membership or compel the sale. Plenty of NBA teams were losing money throughout most of the last decade.

If it comes to a situation where they can’t find financing, cash, to meet their obligations -the contributions to the revenue sharing pool, players and staff salaries, etc- and become insolvent, then yes, the board of governors would have grounds to vote for the termination of membership.

If they’re going to vote to force the sale, they’ll have to argue something else.

joana on April 29, 2014 at 11:50 PM

That’s written more like speculative sensationalism. I don’t see any facts relative to how much a team would lose if a sponsor was ‘gone’ for 24 hours or even if a sponsor can turn off the money spigot that quickly. So in short, there’s no ‘word to take’ for anything of substance in that story.

How many major corporate sponsors do the Clippers have right now? Zero. If new sponsors emerge to take the place of the departed ones then the situation changes but for right now at least none have done so. With as radioactive as the team is right now I don’t imagine there’s a line to take those spots either. Even if sponsors do return the Clippers are faced with the prospect of having to offer deep discounts to try to coax corporate sponsors back towards the team. All that translates into less revenue, which is picking the pocket of the rest of the league.

And actually, I would say it’s the sponsor’s over-reaction that’s costing the NBA. Sterling’s comments are being blown way out of proportion in this age of hyper-sensitivity.

Ricard on April 29, 2014 at 11:41 PM

If this age is a hyper-sensitive as you say it is then it’s difficult to call the cancelation of an advertising contract an over-reaction. And they’re the sponsor’s dollars to over-react with if they choose to do so. You’re not going to be critical of them for doing what they wish with their own money, are you?

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 11:52 PM

By the same logic that a tax cut costs the government money…

malclave on April 29, 2014 at 11:16 PM

As much as I would like to post an Inigo Montoya meme…..

Try again.

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 11:23 PM

If “not giving the other owners as much money” equals “picking their pockets”… isn’t that the same logic?

I’m not saying that the other owner’s don’t have a legitimate financial interest here… I just don’t think “picking [their] pockets” is the best metaphor.

malclave on April 29, 2014 at 11:58 PM

They can’t be takers as their payroll this season is $72,660,813 – above the luxury tax threshold of $71,748,000.

They’ll still contribute to the pie. If the income from the local TV deal, concessions and tickets isn’t enough to meet their obligations, they’ll use their savings or take a loan.

I’m not sure what’s your overall point, but a team running a negative bottom line, an economic deficit, or even facing liquidity problems doesn’t give the NBA the power to terminate that team membership or compel the sale. Plenty of NBA teams were losing money throughout most of the last decade.

If it comes to a situation where they can’t find financing, cash, to meet their obligations -the contributions to the revenue sharing pool, players and staff salaries, etc- and become insolvent, then yes, the board of governors would have grounds to vote for the termination of membership.

If they’re going to vote to force the sale, they’ll have to argue something else.

joana on April 29, 2014 at 11:50 PM

Their sponsorships have only cratered in the last day or so so of course that’s not going to be reflected in the budgets and projections made before that. It’s a question of what will their numbers be like going forward if the sponsors don’t return because they don’t want to associate with Sterling.

My point is is this controversy and the fallout from it has turned the Clippers into a giant smoldering mess whose bottom line faces significant hurdles going forward, all directly attributable to this situation. I don’t know that the owners can vote to force a sale, nor am I entirely convinced that they want to go that far, but I would expect significant pressure to be brought on him to get rid of the franchise. What exactly they can and cannot do is something we don’t know because we don’t have access to the NBA’s constitution but I suspect we’ll see something along the lines of what MLB did with Marge Schott.

alchemist19 on April 30, 2014 at 12:02 AM

If “not giving the other owners as much money” equals “picking their pockets”… isn’t that the same logic?

I’m not saying that the other owner’s don’t have a legitimate financial interest here… I just don’t think “picking [their] pockets” is the best metaphor.

malclave on April 29, 2014 at 11:58 PM

Gotcha, I think it was a misunderstanding.

I was originally responding to someone who had posted the Thomas Jefferson quote about your neighbor’s choices neither picks your pocket nor breaks you leg and so I mentioned pocket picking because it had been brought up in that context of that quote. I agree it’s not the best metaphor, I was just trying to reuse someone else’s term.

alchemist19 on April 30, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Gotcha, I think it was a misunderstanding.

alchemist19 on April 30, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Probably.

If I read the Jefferson quote on the thread, I forgot about it, so I didn’t make the connection.

Maybe I’m just getting old, and need to find a younger girlfriend who will record what I say so I don’t forget. What could go wrong?

malclave on April 30, 2014 at 12:16 AM

He’s 80 and a billionaire. What does all this stuff matter as long as he can keep tapping that fine African-Mexican stuff. I haven’t heard but if she doesn’t stay with him there’s sure to be another waiting outside.

schmuck281 on April 30, 2014 at 12:16 AM

Their sponsorships have only cratered in the last day or so so of course that’s not going to be reflected in the budgets and projections made before that. It’s a question of what will their numbers be like going forward if the sponsors don’t return because they don’t want to associate with Sterling.

My point is is this controversy and the fallout from it has turned the Clippers into a giant smoldering mess whose bottom line faces significant hurdles going forward, all directly attributable to this situation. I don’t know that the owners can vote to force a sale, nor am I entirely convinced that they want to go that far, but I would expect significant pressure to be brought on him to get rid of the franchise. What exactly they can and cannot do is something we don’t know because we don’t have access to the NBA’s constitution but I suspect we’ll see something along the lines of what MLB did with Marge Schott.

alchemist19 on April 30, 2014 at 12:02 AM

Well, with that I agree with; it seems so uncontroversial to me that I was assuming you were arguing the board of governors would vote to terminate his membership based on the loss of sponsors.

As for the relevant NBA articles wrt termination of ownership:

http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/233171/NBA-Constitution-Excerpt-On-Termination-Of-Ownership

joana on April 30, 2014 at 12:21 AM

Probably.

If I read the Jefferson quote on the thread, I forgot about it, so I didn’t make the connection.

Maybe I’m just getting old, and need to find a younger girlfriend who will record what I say so I don’t forget. What could go wrong?

malclave on April 30, 2014 at 12:16 AM

LOL!

alchemist19 on April 30, 2014 at 12:34 AM

He’s 80 and a billionaire. What does all this stuff matter as long as he can keep tapping that fine African-Mexican stuff. I haven’t heard but if she doesn’t stay with him there’s sure to be another waiting outside.

schmuck281 on April 30, 2014 at 12:16 AM

It’s very easy to find better-looking hookers than that one.

slickwillie2001 on April 30, 2014 at 12:39 AM

Well, with that I agree with; it seems so uncontroversial to me that I was assuming you were arguing the board of governors would vote to terminate his membership based on the loss of sponsors.

As for the relevant NBA articles wrt termination of ownership:

http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/233171/NBA-Constitution-Excerpt-On-Termination-Of-Ownership

joana on April 30, 2014 at 12:21 AM

No. The potential loss of shared revenue might be a motivator for some of them but I would be surprised if that was the stated reason since doing things for money is so uncouth these days. That first clause about violation of the Constitution, resolution or agreements of Association bit might do it though; I would suspect there’s some conduct and character resolution somewhere they could invoke if he tries to hold on and the controversy doesn’t die down.

alchemist19 on April 30, 2014 at 12:40 AM

Sterling’s day has been (Marge) Schott all to hell.

PolarCoug on April 29, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Heh.

davidk on April 30, 2014 at 1:03 AM

Why did Doc Rivers go work for him? Why did Chris Paul play for him? Why did the NAACP give him trophies?

These, and more questions the media will never ask. It doesn’t support the narrative of “destroy the old white guy”.

Moesart on April 30, 2014 at 1:21 AM

PolarCoug on April 29, 2014 at 2:49 PM

But I don’t think she was banned for life from MLB, just suspended/banned temporarily…an year or so…

jimver on April 30, 2014 at 1:24 AM

Why did Doc Rivers go work for him? Why did Chris Paul play for him? Why did the NAACP give him trophies?

These, and more questions the media will never ask. It doesn’t support the narrative of “destroy the old white guy”.

Moesart on April 30, 2014 at 1:21 AM

Most bizarre…my clear impression is that everybody who was familiar with his persona knew about his racist views, it’s impossible that they didn’t, so why it hasn’t bothered them all this time until this shite hit the fan… it’s like for some reasons they didn’t care, or they wanted his money so badly…..But NAACP giving him awards and stuff, it beats me…

jimver on April 30, 2014 at 1:31 AM

I do find it odd that this shows up a month after Sterling’s ex sues the girlfriend, with the girlfriend having sworn vengeance on the guy in a courtroom.

Add in that there’s been no examination of the tape that I’ve seen, and I haven’t seen Sterling himself cop to it. The girlfriend’s lawyer says it’s him, but he also says his client didn’t release it, so…

Not a lot of trust, and I want to see a professional examination of the tape before jumping on the crucifixion bandwagon. Wouldn’t even accept a confession at this point, as the brouhaha has gotten so big that copping to it and apologizing is probably less harmful to him financially than to try to fight it.

Asurea on April 30, 2014 at 1:56 AM

Maybe I’m just getting old, and need to find a younger girlfriend who will record what I say so I don’t forget. What could go wrong?

malclave on April 30, 2014 at 12:16 AM

Hahaha :)

jimver on April 30, 2014 at 2:27 AM

The guy is 80 years old. Yes, there are some racists still in America. Most of them are very, very old. Within 20 or so years, there will hardly be any left at all (well, of the classical overt kind; the liberal’s soft racism will still exist, I am sure). The problem, if there is one, is solving itself with time.

Theophile on April 30, 2014 at 2:33 AM

It’s sad that the marketplace is so indifferent on adultery, isn’t it?

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Well, see, that depends on the market.

The market might not care about adultery when it comes to billionaire pro sports owners, but the market sure seems to care about it when it comes to, say, a local congressman naked Anthony Weiner.

Interestingly, Weiner’s doom was only sealed when private comminications were surreptiously made public. If it wasn’t for that Weiner’s weiner selfie going viral, he’d still be where he was. Much like this phone call going public for Sterling.

everdiso on April 30, 2014 at 3:14 AM

Interestingly, Weiner’s doom was only sealed when private comminications were surreptiously made public. If it wasn’t for that Weiner’s weiner selfie going viral, he’d still be where he was. Much like this phone call going public for Sterling.
everdiso on April 30, 2014 at 3:14 AM

Wrong. Weiner lied about it, claimed he had been hacked, blamed Breitbart, etc. Weiner made it worse on himself by pretending to be a victim. Weiner’s behavior after the pics came out is what did him damage later on. Typical “I’m such a victim” behavior by lying, left-wing Democrat trash.

bluegill on April 30, 2014 at 3:25 AM

Interestingly, Weiner’s doom was only sealed when private comminications were surreptiously made public. If it wasn’t for that Weiner’s weiner selfie going viral, he’d still be where he was. Much like this phone call going public for Sterling.

everdiso on April 30, 2014 at 3:14 AM

No, he wouldn’t, still be where he was. That one is too much of an idiot, on top of being a jerk and a douchebag (but then most Dems are that, that’s not a capital offence), as shown by his response to that clusterfark…he wasn’t capable of minimal damage control, all he did was digged himself in even deeper. Sooner or later people would have figured out the fool and imbecile that he really was, even without the Shlongate.

jimver on April 30, 2014 at 3:45 AM

This is not freedom.

David Blue on April 30, 2014 at 4:51 AM

Interestingly, Weiner’s doom was only sealed when private comminications were surreptiously made public. If it wasn’t for that Weiner’s weiner selfie going viral, he’d still be where he was. Much like this phone call going public for Sterling.
 
everdiso on April 30, 2014 at 3:14 AM

 
Wrong. Weiner lied about it, claimed he had been hacked, blamed Breitbart, etc. Weiner made it worse on himself by pretending to be a victim. Weiner’s behavior after the pics came out is what did him damage later on. Typical “I’m such a victim” behavior by lying, left-wing Democrat trash.
 
bluegill on April 30, 2014 at 3:25 AM

 
You’ve got to hand it to everdiso, though. That really was a good try.
 
Shame to waste it on a political website where people actually know the details of topics. I bet it would’ve worked on Entertainmenttonight.com or americanidol.com, though.

rogerb on April 30, 2014 at 8:19 AM

I doubt if there is a person alive who hasn’t made disparaging comments about members of another race during a phone call sometime in his/her life. Of course these words were also coaxed out if him by a girlfriend. Taping the call was the most despicable part of this situation.

cimbri on April 30, 2014 at 9:48 AM

John the Libertarian, the Golddigger wouldn’t have known what to dig for if this tape had been the first time Sterling inadvertently dropped on V. Stiviano the nugget that people of her racial heritage were good for fun and profit but unsuitable to be openly acknowledged as part of one’s social circle. In other words, even if she were his age and pure as the driven snow, race alone (in his view) renders her unsuitable for marriage to someone like him.

ansonia on April 30, 2014 at 10:16 AM

This thread has over 850 comments.

The Benghazi email thread has 151.

The Democrats couldn’t be happier.

You know, dumbasses, you don’t have to play the Democrats game.

M240H on April 30, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Sterling and his gold digger may not be important, but a $2.5 million fine, plus other penalties, for politically incorrect speech uttered in private and under entrapment, is important.

And no, freedom of speech is not only endangered when the government explicitly censors you.

The great majority of the repression in the Soviet Union and its bloc of slave states was also not explicit censorship but just things like making it hard for people to keep or advance in their jobs unless they said the right things and refrained from saying the wrong things.

In other words, what we are living under increasingly is Communism, but with a wealthy, decadent social layer on top that doesn’t really improve anything.

David Blue on April 30, 2014 at 11:06 AM

I haven’t read all the comments – but is anyone out there as concerned as I am that an organization, the NBA, is taking action against a person (no I don’t agree with his comments at all) who made comments privately, not for public consumption, without due process? Is there a precedent being set? If the government or other agency, or private firm, listens to some of the NSA calls and determines that I am being hateful to a race or sex or some other government determined group, can I be arrested, fined, imprisoned because of the precedent being set here? I believe everything said was despicable, but again, the end purpose might be better achieved by players refusing to play, spectators refusing to watch, and vendors refusing to supply. Seems a knee jerk reaction is only to protect profits, and that is exactly the wrong reason.

apeks on April 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM

While I don’t condone what he said, I hope he sues. I don’t know how an owner can have no contact with his own team.

Supergirl333 on April 30, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Skipity on April 29, 2014 at 10:00 PM

“You heard” FROM the skank who MADE the recording – duh. Catch a clue.

PJ Emeritus on April 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

And bet a dollar to a doughnt that good ole Tragic Johnson will be the one who winds up with the team. He is all over this situation, was the instigation for the conversation that was illegally recorded, even. Who in their right mind – much less a successful trial attorney – is going to affirm that they gave verbal permission for their hanger-on to record their private conversations? In short, even if he DID, she has NO WAY to prove it – which makes it an illegal recording – NO MATTER WHAT.

PJ Emeritus on April 30, 2014 at 11:44 AM

everdiso on April 30, 2014 at 3:14 AM

And Weiner’s antics were NEVER private, despite your claim they were – they played out in plain sight on the internet.

There is a HUGE difference in the reasonable expectation of privacy one holds in their own home and the one they THINK they have when posting to SOMEONE ELSE’S website.

Sterling’s personal views are what they are, and they stink. But defending someone who DELIBERATELY goaded him into a illegally recorded private conversation in an all but blatant attempt to help ole Tragic get a screaming deal on the Clippers is a completely different thing.

PJ Emeritus on April 30, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Re : apeks comment posted April 30 at 11: 25

I couldn’t agree with you more.

ansonia on April 30, 2014 at 12:17 PM

The NBA isn’t the government. They are a private enterprise and can force him to sell because they have a provision for that in the bylaws. No one is seizing his property, they are forcing him to take millions of dollars for an asset that he owned within a private enterprise, which they are entirely within their legal right to do according to their bylaws.

sob0728 on April 30, 2014 at 3:19 PM

And bet a dollar to a doughnt that good ole Tragic Johnson will be the one who winds up with the team. He is all over this situation, was the instigation for the conversation that was illegally recorded, even. Who in their right mind – much less a successful trial attorney – is going to affirm that they gave verbal permission for their hanger-on to record their private conversations? In short, even if he DID, she has NO WAY to prove it – which makes it an illegal recording – NO MATTER WHAT.

PJ Emeritus on April 30, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Geffen signalled that he is v. interested too, apparently, and he has more dough than Magic. Guess depends how badly he wants it. there’s a rumour in LA that I heard at work today that Larry Ellison himself is interested too :).. Guess he got tired of buying slands, or got bored on them :)..I actually like Larry :), as weird as he is, he amuses me…he can easily outbid both Geffen and Magic…

jimver on April 30, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Too weak , they should ban NBA . Period.

the_nile on April 29, 2014 at 2:48 PM

LOLO, I personally did a long long time ago. Along with the NFL, MLB and most especially that corrupt perversion known as NCAA football.

ddrintn on April 30, 2014 at 10:13 PM

If this age is a hyper-sensitive as you say it is then it’s difficult to call the cancelation [sic] of an advertising contract an over-reaction.

So..the correct response to the ills of hyper-sensitivity is more hyper-sensitivity. More indication that your thesis is not based in ‘grown-up’ thinking.

And they’re the sponsor’s dollars to over-react with if they choose to do so. You’re not going to be critical of them for doing what they wish with their own money, are you?

alchemist19 on April 29, 2014 at 11:52 PM

No more than you would be critical of a citizen expressing his personal opinions in a private conversation. And if it’s the sponsors over-reacting, and you want to invent a ‘pick pocket’ card, then it would be the sponsors picking the pockets.

Ricard on April 30, 2014 at 10:23 PM

If Sterling really wanted to stick his finger in every critic’s eye, he would hire David Duke as General Manager and move the training camp to Alcatraz.

opaobie on May 1, 2014 at 1:12 AM

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