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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Thought Police, Extortion Division.

Bat Chain Puller on April 29, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Annnnnnd, we have our Winner.

ToddPA on April 29, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Maybe he could sell he team to Rush Limbaugh.

uncle jj on April 29, 2014 at 3:03 PM

The floodgates are open now! Every owner in every major sport is now going to be vilified for any statement made past, present, and future. And the PC police are on the hunt for their next victim. It won’t matter is you said it 20 years ago or not. It might not even matter if you actually said it.
uncle jj on April 29, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Not only that but every wealthy and/or public person must now assume every private conversation they have is being recorded. And given the propensity of the media to dishonestly edit recorded convesations this doesn’t bode well.

tommyboy on April 29, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Some of you people are either flat-out bigots or delusional.

It’s not your sport. You got nothing to do with it. So you do not care what the impact would be. But you’d be the first ones disgusted when the Muslims and Chinese step in and buy all the floundering teams.

This is not about free speech or ownership rights. He bought into a group. He has done everything possible to not conduct himself in manner to abide by the contract of that group. He’s refused to sell and threatened to sue, even though he’s business was dragging the league down for decades.

Sterling ran his team like a slum-lord and should have been ejected in the 80′s. I hope former players file a civil suit.

budfox on April 29, 2014 at 2:55 PM

WTF are you babbling about? For one thing, the Clippers haven’t been dragging the league down…when they sucked, they sucked. The rest of the league was fine, and remains so. The Chinese and Muslims (again, wtf) don’t have to buy teams, because there are Americans willing to overpay for even the crappiest of teams in order to get into the league. That shows its success.

Those that have a problem with the punishment don’t like the idea of speech and thought being punished. It is a very slippery slope, as we’ve seen.

changer1701 on April 29, 2014 at 3:04 PM

I thought they’d have him guillotined.

forest on April 29, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Horrible person and a horrible owner. I hope the Clippers get a new owner now.

And to all the people who are whining about him losing out because of what he says in private, y’all need to chill. NBA isn’t government, and they can do whatever it wants as long as it’s not criminal.

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Ed puts it quite well (as does Wehner): Imagine that you’re a black man who fought in Afghanistan. Or has served the country in another capacity.
You’ve worked hard, you’ve played by the rules, you’ve done everything asked of you.
And then this powerful, wealthy person is heard making these comments? In 2014?
You’d be pretty disgusted. And angry.
Rightly so.
There are too many conservatives – not all and not the majority – who I think are too dismissive of how these comments and views are seen and heard among black Americans.
SteveMG on April 29, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Boo hoo. Would it hurt their feelings? Someone making comments in private that they would find offensive?

Oh, no! They’d be “disgusted and angry”? Can’t be having any of that.

bluegill on April 29, 2014 at 3:05 PM

This sort of thing will do more to set back race relations than anything Stormfront could come up with. The irresponsibility of the press and the actions of the NBA are deeply offensive and harmful to the functioning of a free society.

claudius on April 29, 2014 at 3:05 PM

I wish I could save every single one of the comments here that say thought police, extortion and bring them back at a later time. Oh gosh I wish.

Because I know, like I know the sun will rise tomorrow, that if some other guy was talking smack about a group of people that is loved and cherish by some of you, you would want his head on a silver platter.

coolrepublica on April 29, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Uh, no. I don’t get outrageously outraged because someone said something offensive. People are free to be morons. I get on with my life.

gwelf on April 29, 2014 at 3:05 PM

I posted this on another thread, but wouldn’t it make more sense to not ban him?

The NBA is around 80% black. What better way to punish a supposed racist than to make him be around the people he supposedly hates on.

He should be forced to attend every day of training camp, every practice, every shoot around, and every game.

That would be the best racial sensitivity training a man could get.

airupthere on April 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

I thought they’d have him guillotined.

forest on April 29, 2014 at 3:04 PM

^^^

Axe on April 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Not good enough, Should ban the NBA and make Sterling listen to the Oprah 24-7 .

A call for dear leader to EO a permanent ban on the game.
His phone and pen in real action to end racism.

Texyank on April 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

I’m glad black folks don’t say things like this about white people in private.

uncle jj on April 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with the punishment. But I haven’t noticed anybody bring this up: were these racist comments really a matter of such urgent importance that it couldn’t have waited a week or two or three, when the Clippers’ season was over? Why did the recording have to be released now, in the middle of a playoff series, when the brouhaha could affect their play? (Note: I’m not a Clippers fan and really don’t care how well they do.)

ajb3 on April 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

What he says in private is none of anyone’s xxxx business.

huckleberryfriend on April 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Guy is a registered Republican in California.

antisense on April 29, 2014 at 2:51 PM

So what? 10% of registered Republicans, including Colon Powell, voted for O’bama in 2008.

Fact is, there is solid proof out there that Sterling has donated exclusively to Democrats in the past-he donated to Gray Davis, Bill Bradley, and Patrick Leahey, as well as donating (and then being honored by) the NAACP, which was as we all know founded by Republicans.

/

Unless you have actually been going into the voting booth with Sterling and looking over his shoulder, you have no idea of knowing who he has voted for in the past. No law requires him to tell us who he voted for either. But the law does require a political donor to disclose who he’s given to, which is where the Democrats have a problem trying to spin this dude as a “Republican”. Because all of his donations in the past have been to their candidates.

Del Dolemonte on April 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM

This sort of thing will do more to set back race relations than anything Stormfront could come up with. The irresponsibility of the press and the actions of the NBA are deeply offensive and harmful to the functioning of a free society.

claudius on April 29, 2014 at 3:05 PM

No.

NBA isn’t government. Private actors get to choose who they want to associate with, whether y’all like it or not. That’s what a free society requires.

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM

You can now have your private property rights stripped from you for thought crimes. 1984 has arrived.

More disgusting than the comments that started all of this.

Welcome to Amerika.

Exninja on April 29, 2014 at 3:01 PM

That depends on the rules he agreed to when he bought the team. He does own the team but that team is part of a larger consortium (the NBA) which has rules to be abided by as owners of franchises. He had to be approved to become an owner. Therefore, this isn’t like he owns his own restaurant or department store. If he’s violated the agreement, he can lose his interest in the consortium.

Bitter Clinger on April 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Maybe he could sell he team to Rush Limbaugh.

uncle jj on April 29, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Cant have that, he’s been deemed racist.

the_nile on April 29, 2014 at 3:08 PM

They’re beyond uniformed. They haven’t read one-linked article. They don’t care because they don’t like the NBA, because it’s a predominantly black league that openly supports Barry.

It’s the undercurrent of bigotry that Bundy flows from. Not racism. Bigotry.

I have more respect for the people who argue that the players still made millions, so wtf are they complaining about now. But even then, you have to be a real misanthrope to not comprehend what it must be like to work for a guy who thinks you’re near subhuman.

budfox on April 29, 2014 at 3:02 PM

From what I read, it seems what they really are upset about is that they lost the culture. They are upset in today’s age the culture will punish people who commit no crimes, but say things that are decidedly noxious like Sterling/Bundy.

They wish that they could openly declare a hatred for someone of another race and face zero social consequences. Perhaps they feel smothered or without agency.

My take.

antisense on April 29, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Well, according to the NBA, A person’s personal thoughts and feelings have to conform to their views on freedom of speech. Any American who continues to support the NBA after today, deserves what looms in the future when YOUR constitutionally protected rights are stripped without any due process or rule of law…Ashamed to be an American today…(I moved this post over here from the other thread, as I had just made it and it needs to be expressed here, IMHO)—Joe

bimmcorp on April 29, 2014 at 3:09 PM

They wish that they could openly declare a hatred for someone of another race and face zero social consequences.

antisense on April 29, 2014 at 3:08 PM

So, they want to have what blacks have now.

sentinelrules on April 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Basketball in ther NBA should be called the FREAK SHOW…

7 foot tall black players (freaks) can spew their crap about race with impunity.

A person has a PRIVATE conversation that some gold digging whore records to get a payday and the man is thrown out of his business. I say if there is so much rage about this, let the fans decide. Or better yet, give the blacks a segregated league with only black players, and see if the fans show up, that is besides the ghetto creeps on EBT cards.

Kuffar on April 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

No.

NBA isn’t government. Private actors get to choose who they want to associate with, whether y’all like it or not. That’s what a free society requires.

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM

The NBA is full of crap.

All the people wringing their hands are hilarious.

Did the NBA care when he was kicking people to the curb? Or when he was sued by the DOJ in 2006? Nope.

Sterling was set to receive a NAACP award next month.

This is all a set up.

tetriskid on April 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Oh one more thing, are NBA players held to this same standard….?? So things they say in private or on the court to other players or in music or the like, that can get you banned now too??

Tom66 on April 29, 2014

Owners and people in management are always going to be held to a higher standards than the rank and file. Comes with the territory.

sandbun on April 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

From what I read, it seems what they really are upset about is that they lost the culture. They are upset in today’s age the culture will punish people who commit no crimes, but say things that are decidedly noxious like Sterling/Bundy.

They wish that they could openly declare a hatred for someone of another race and face zero social consequences. Perhaps they feel smothered or without agency.

My take.

antisense on April 29, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Explain to me why holder shut down the case against the new black panther intimidation voters?

How does that scale against an old turd saying racist things in private?

the_nile on April 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with the punishment. But I haven’t noticed anybody bring this up: were these racist comments really a matter of such urgent importance that it couldn’t have waited a week or two or three, when the Clippers’ season was over? Why did the recording have to be released now, in the middle of a playoff series, when the brouhaha could affect their play? (Note: I’m not a Clippers fan and really don’t care how well they do.)

ajb3 on April 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Actually no, the sooner the better. The news about Sterling was devastating tom player morale and a horrible distraction. Hopefully this move by the Comish takes this out of the equation for everyone.

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

HA filters apparently won’t allow posts containing the racist quotes of Joe Biden and Harry Reid.

dentarthurdent on April 29, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Yeppers, I found that out last week!

Del Dolemonte on April 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Private actors get to choose who they want to associate with, whether y’all like it or not. That’s what a free society requires.

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM

LOL. This whole asinine, Kabuki scene is based on, allegedly, who Sterling said he wanted to associate with and who not.

I guess we can strike that little freedom off the list … (not that it hasn’t been crushed by actual law for so many years, now, anyway)

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on April 29, 2014 at 3:11 PM

From what I read, it seems what they really are upset about is that they lost the culture. They are upset in today’s age the culture will punish people who commit no crimes, but say things that are decidedly noxious like Sterling/Bundy.
They wish that they could openly declare a hatred for someone of another race and face zero social consequences. Perhaps they feel smothered or without agency.
My take.
antisense on April 29, 2014 at 3:08 PM

No you just declared in your culture that you can openly hate whom you want with impunity.

And yeah- you’re winning that too. But beer ever mistake that for liberty or free thought because that wheel will turn my friend.

Skywise on April 29, 2014 at 3:11 PM

NBA isn’t government. Private actors get to choose who they want to associate with, whether y’all like it or not. That’s what a free society requires.

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Unless you’re a baker, or a photographer.

Missy on April 29, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Sterling can decide, if he decides to sell the Clippers, who gets to buy the team.

Donald Sterling’s net worth was estimated at $1.9 billion September 2012.

Donald Tokowitz Sterling (born Donald Tokowitz; April 26, 1934)[2] is an American business magnate and former attorney. He is the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball franchise of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Sterling acquired the Clippers in 1981 for $12.5 million, and as of 2014, the team is valued at $575 million by Forbes magazine,[3] ranking them 18th out of 30 teams. At 33 seasons of ownership (1981 to present), Sterling has been the longest-tenured owner in the NBA since the death of Los Angeles Lakers majority owner Jerry Buss in 2013.

If he chooses, Sterling could afford to sell the Clippers for $1.

thatsafactjack on April 29, 2014 at 3:11 PM

If anyone thinks this ends with the overt jerks, they’re living in a dream world. It has long been the goal of US liberals to criminalize non-liberal thought, as has been done in Europe, Canada and college campuses. Every word you say, every syllable you accent, every look you take, every expression on your face will be judged: big brother is watching. It makes no difference whether it’s the government or an employers or a mob. They’re all becoming one and the same.

jvermeer on April 29, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Sterling was set to receive a NAACP award next month.

This is all a set up.

tetriskid on April 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Yup. This is agitprop.

the_nile on April 29, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Benjamins, dudes. It started with cool things like lust for hot, young babes, hubris, and pathological insecurity. But by the end, it was just math.

Axe on April 29, 2014 at 3:12 PM

They wish that they could openly declare a hatred for someone of another race and face zero social consequences. Perhaps they feel smothered or without agency.
My take.
antisense on April 29, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Not all races and groups are treated the equally under this politically correct paradigm. Some are fair grounds for criticism (whites, men, Christians) while others are totally off limits.

bluegill on April 29, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Hopefully, someone will come forward and reveal Silver’s own offensive, private statements, and he will be forced out ASAP. Then he can hang out with Sterling.

Christien on April 29, 2014 at 3:12 PM

So an old, married white guy gets his phone call taped by his mistress ……… and the world falls apart.

If this is the most SERIOUS “news story” of the day that has everyone tied up in knots, one has to wonder at the intellectual level of our society.

GarandFan on April 29, 2014 at 2:50 PM

.
My only other thought on this topic …

… they fined him $ 2.5 million on a franchise that will sell for OVER $ 1 billion …

… which is less than 1/4 of 1 percent of the CASH he will be paid for the team …

… or phrased in terms to make this fit in the overall pattern of nonsense …

they are fining him the amount he will make for an “overnight loan” of the $ 1 billion plus price tag.

PolAgnostic on April 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

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.”

Oh, give me a break. There are thousands of people in the USA who hate me for the simple fact that I am Caucasian. Big-name black celebrities make blatantly racist remarks about whites all the time. Does all that make me “sick to my stomach”? Not in the least. Why? Because I know that those bigots are a teeny-tiny minority of thought in this country. Anyone who is “sick to their stomach” over the racist remarks that one lone octogenarian made in a supposedly private phone call is simply a ridiculous a$$.

KS Rex on April 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

The NBA is full of crap.

All the people wringing their hands are hilarious.

Did the NBA care when he was kicking people to the curb? Or when he was sued by the DOJ in 2006? Nope.

Sterling was set to receive a NAACP award next month.

This is all a set up.

tetriskid on April 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Even if you’re right, no reason to let the sickness fester. I hope he ends up selling the team, preferably to someone who’ll move it to OC.

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Unless you have actually been going into the voting booth with Sterling and looking over his shoulder, you have no idea of knowing who he has voted for in the past. No law requires him to tell us who he voted for either. But the law does require a political donor to disclose who he’s given to, which is where the Democrats have a problem trying to spin this dude as a “Republican”. Because all of his donations in the past have been to their candidates.

Del Dolemonte on April 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Yes, he donated to Brady and Moonbeam I believe. Not very much money from what I recall, but it really doesn’t matter.

Not a smart move to try and paint him as a Democrat. What’s the advantage there? So that someone can say, “look, the Dems actually walked the walk and took out a jerk in their midst.” Totally not hypocritical.

It was foolish to jump and say he was a Dem only for official records to come back stating he registered Republican or even make it about R vs D at all.

All the Republicans had to do was say this guy is a turd and move on. But nope!

antisense on April 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

NBA isn’t government. Private actors get to choose who they want to associate with, whether y’all like it or not. That’s what a free society requires.

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Unless you’re a baker, or a photographer.

Missy on April 29, 2014 at 3:11 PM

But that was government interference (via a lousy court opinion). NorthernCross is right.

Bitter Clinger on April 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Yeah, the NBA totally cares about how Sterling’s players might “feel.” It’s not like they’ve known for years he was a racist. It’s not like his former GM, Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor, had numerous complaints against him.

Nope, this was a total shock!

Good Solid B-Plus on April 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

If anyone thinks this ends with the overt jerks, they’re living in a dream world. It has long been the goal of US liberals to criminalize non-liberal thought, as has been done in Europe, Canada and college campuses. Every word you say, every syllable you accent, every look you take, every expression on your face will be judged: big brother is watching. It makes no difference whether it’s the government or an employers or a mob. They’re all becoming one and the same.

jvermeer on April 29, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Yup, Orwell wasn’t kidding.

the_nile on April 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with the punishment. But I haven’t noticed anybody bring this up: were these racist comments really a matter of such urgent importance that it couldn’t have waited a week or two or three, when the Clippers’ season was over? Why did the recording have to be released now, in the middle of a playoff series, when the brouhaha could affect their play? (Note: I’m not a Clippers fan and really don’t care how well they do.)

ajb3 on April 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Because the impact would have been much less then. Whatever your position on this it’s clear from the recording that the woman worked hard to get these things on tape so they could later be released to the press and drag Sterling down. At the very least she did this to try to get more financially out of Sterling. It’s not impossible it was solicited by people who would like to purchase the Clippers and might get a better deal if Sterling is a pariah.

Rocks on April 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Actually, I should say that it’s considered perfectly acceptable to express hatred for and demean whites. How often do we hear “old white guys” used disparagingly?

bluegill on April 29, 2014 at 3:14 PM

If he chooses, Sterling could afford to sell the Clippers for $1.
thatsafactjack on April 29, 2014 at 3:11 PM

He should sell it to Rush Limbaugh… :)

Skywise on April 29, 2014 at 3:14 PM

All the Republicans had to do was say this guy is a turd and move on. But nope!

antisense on April 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Why?

Sterling is a Jewish Democrat.

sentinelrules on April 29, 2014 at 3:14 PM

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.

What does this remind me of? Oh, yeah.

Fallon on April 29, 2014 at 3:14 PM

budfox on April 29, 2014 at 3:02 PM

You can shove your despicable accusation of bigotry where the sun don’t shine. You’re as bad as any leftist.

DisneyFan on April 29, 2014 at 3:15 PM

LOL. This whole asinine, Kabuki scene is based on, allegedly, who Sterling said he wanted to associate with and who not.

I guess we can strike that little freedom off the list … (not that it hasn’t been crushed by actual law for so many years, now, anyway)

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on April 29, 2014 at 3:11 PM

This ain’t about freedom. This is about private actors handling their business how they see fit. End of story.

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:15 PM

THAT’S why this blew up the way it did.

Myron Falwell on April 29, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Exactly. Sterling never had any interest in fielding a competitor until the League started pushing for a move out of LA.

He’s the worst kind of businessman. He used up decades of solid players health and actually thought as long as he was paying them, they have no right to bitch.

But he never intended on trying to win and only barely compete. So why own the team? Why run a team consisting of people you see as undesirable?

Again, he was a slum-lord in everything he did.

budfox on April 29, 2014 at 3:15 PM

But if you have gang affiliations, play on.

Ronnie on April 29, 2014 at 3:15 PM

This sort of thing will do more to set back race relations than anything Stormfront could come up with. The irresponsibility of the press and the actions of the NBA are deeply offensive and harmful to the functioning of a free society.

claudius on April 29, 2014 at 3:05 PM

No.

NBA isn’t government. Private actors get to choose who they want to associate with, whether y’all like it or not. That’s what a free society requires.

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM

That may or may not be true, but we are dealing with a man who was recorded during what he thought was a private conversation and in a great deal of stress and anger. His privacy was violated, perhaps illegally, and he has been excoriated because his ‘thoughts’ do not conform to the wussy, P.C., white guilt crowd who squeal everytime they deem someone a ‘raaaaaycist’…By your logic, private sectors ought to be able to choose whether or not to pay for abortion, no???

bimmcorp on April 29, 2014 at 3:15 PM

To my mind t’would serve the NBA right if Mr. Sterling disbanded the Clippers today. Just close the franchise down, refuse to sell the name, & tell the NBA to go visit Hella’s realm for a long vacation.
Oh & they could take that wench of a “girlfriend” with them.

His views are his own, he committed no crime in holding those views & those views were expressed in private.

AmyDB on April 29, 2014 at 3:15 PM

My grandmother was a typical white person. Wonder what the one says in private?

birdwatcher on April 29, 2014 at 3:16 PM

So a man who says bad things but hurts no one gets banned for life.

Ron Artest goes into the stands to commit FELONIOUS Assault against fans and didn’t even get a years suspension. The former is white, the latter black. Social Justice?

ConstantineXI on April 29, 2014 at 3:16 PM

He should sell it to Rush Limbaugh… :)

Skywise on April 29, 2014 at 3:14 PM

I had the same thought. Wonder what the NBA would think of that?

Oh, well… “the best laid plans of mice and men…”. lol!

thatsafactjack on April 29, 2014 at 3:16 PM

i heard magic and the guggenheims have been wanting to buy the clippers. wasn’t it magic in that picture with the senorita that realy pee’d off sterling in the first place…maybe it was all a set up to drop the price on the team…(rush mentioned this today)

sterling is a ruthless guy and will likely come out on top of all of this $$$wise anyway….he’s a billionaire for a reason

watch sterling file a suite against the seniorita for exposing him to HIV ’cause magic’s got that for life and we all know how he contracted it in the first place.

gracie on April 29, 2014 at 3:16 PM

I’m all for the invisible hand and no, the 1st doesn’t protect you from private entities meting out punishmnet, but i’m not comfortable with the pitchfork mob mentality these things have or with ruining someone’s life for it, just seems very medieval and backwards. At least this is actual racism though and not the pretend racism for political expediency everyone got their fauxrage on with Bundy.

clearbluesky on April 29, 2014 at 3:16 PM

It was foolish to jump and say he was a Dem only for official records to come back stating he registered Republican or even make it about R vs D at all.

antisense on April 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

It started with some low life Clinton minion trying to associate Sterling with republicans.

the_nile on April 29, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Banned for life from evidence on an ILLEGIAL WIRETAP

HOPE HE SUES THE BIMBO AND THE LEAGUE

sniffles1999 on April 29, 2014 at 3:17 PM

HA filters apparently won’t allow posts containing the racist quotes of Joe Biden and Harry Reid.

dentarthurdent on April 29, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Yeppers, I found that out last week!

Del Dolemonte on April 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM


It’s even wierder than that …

… Hot Air’s automatic filters will not allow you to quote certain words used by author of the post, under certain circumstances.

THEY can use “objectionable terms” but you can’t quote their use of “objectionable terms”.

PolAgnostic on April 29, 2014 at 3:17 PM

If he chooses, Sterling could afford to sell the Clippers for $1.
thatsafactjack on April 29, 2014 at 3:11 PM
He should sell it to Rush Limbaugh… :)

Skywise on April 29, 2014 at 3:14 PM

The other NBA owners get to approve who joins their club. Sadly, they would never let Rush own a team. And I don’t think he would want an NBA team anyway. His passion is the NFL which has already blackballed him from buying in.

Bitter Clinger on April 29, 2014 at 3:17 PM

I’m just curious, does this mean Marion Barry is banned from shopping??

Dirty Asians

KMC1 on April 29, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Now, bigger and even ‘mo betta’…

‘Toons of the Day: Sterling Values, Sterling Character, Sterling Competence, Sterling Policies & Sterling Humility ///

Resist We Much on April 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2014/04/toons-of-day.html

“It was by executive order” is hilarious. :)

Axe on April 29, 2014 at 3:18 PM

I thought they’d have him guillotined.

forest on April 29, 2014 at 3:04 PM

They would if they could. Don’t think for a second they wouldn’t.

rrpjr on April 29, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Oh, and the thing about him being a registered R? Meaningless. I have a relative who’s a die hard communist but once registered and voted R just to vote in a primary against one of the R candidates. Money is how people show their loyalties.

clearbluesky on April 29, 2014 at 3:18 PM

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:07 PM

You would argue that non-governmental organizations cannot offensive and harmful to freedom? That argument is absurd on its face.

claudius on April 29, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Not all races and groups are treated the equally under this politically correct paradigm. Some are fair grounds for criticism (whites, men, Christians) while others are totally off limits.

bluegill on April 29, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Lord…I agree with BG.

bazil9 on April 29, 2014 at 3:19 PM

banned for life on evidence from an illegial wiretap

hope he sues the bimbo and the league
also its very convenient that majic johnson who was running with the bimbo, stepped forward immediately to want to buy the team

can you say set up, she does something to upset the ole geezer and then starts taping his rantings, then sends it to the media

seems like they wanted to STEAL the OWNERSHIP of the team
and did the pc thought police gig to get it.

i smell a rat, and again i hope he sues her,majic johnson, tmz and the league

sniffles1999 on April 29, 2014 at 3:19 PM

All the Republicans had to do was say this guy is a turd and move on. But nope!

antisense on April 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Why just Republicans? Why not Democrats? Hillary hasn’t said a word about him.

Johnnyreb on April 29, 2014 at 3:19 PM

It’s racism to day.

Tomorrow, it’s denial of Global Warming.

Bigbullets on April 29, 2014 at 3:19 PM

doesn’t Jay-Z own part of a sports team? Why is he allowed to, given how incredibly hateful many of his lyrics are? Isn’t THAT a reflection of who he is, and what his beliefs are?

herm2416 on April 29, 2014 at 3:20 PM

For all of those applauding this action–are you nuts? This is horrifying. I don’t like Sterling or his racism; but heck, my grandpa said stuff like that all the time. Now its practically a criminal offense. And we all know that the left is agitating to criminalize speech that “dissents” from things like global warming (they really are trying to make it illegal to speak against it) to “homophobia” which means “you cannot read the Bible) and they want to force you to do business with them and throw you in jail if you don’t–ask any wedding bakery.

This is just a large step on the “We will have orthodox leftist thought, right now, with no dissent. Kiss the 1st Amendment goodbye!”

You had better believe it: as Brandon Eich found out, being a Christian will very soon be a firing offense.

Vanceone on April 29, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Yep; this is the foot in the door. Next comes anything bad said about homosexuals.

slickwillie2001 on April 29, 2014 at 3:20 PM

This is chilling.

TinFin on April 29, 2014 at 3:20 PM

That may or may not be true, but we are dealing with a man who was recorded during what he thought was a private conversation and in a great deal of stress and anger. His privacy was violated, perhaps illegally, and he has been excoriated because his ‘thoughts’ do not conform to the wussy, P.C., white guilt crowd who squeal everytime they deem someone a ‘raaaaaycist’…By your logic, private sectors ought to be able to choose whether or not to pay for abortion, no???

bimmcorp on April 29, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Actually, by my logic private organizations she be allowed to decide who it associates with. If people disagree with an organization’s policies, those people should be allowed to not give that organization any money.

This isn’t complicated, people.

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Bitter Clinger on April 29, 2014 at 3:17 PM

But wouldn’t it pain them to have to go through the process and the attendant publicity, and by then Mr. Sterling would have had time to dig around in the ‘archives’ and find some salient quotes and activities relating to the other proposed new ‘buyers’.

thatsafactjack on April 29, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Reverend Wright, not banned:

He said Ethiopian Jews are despised by white Jews: “And now the Knesset [Israeli parliament] is meeting with European Jews, voting on whether or not these African Jews can get into [Israel].”

The civil-rights movement, Wright said, was never about racial equality: “It was always about becoming white . . . to master what [they] do.” Martin Luther King, he said, was misguided for advocating nonviolence among his people, “born in the oven of America.”

Fallon on April 29, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Lord…I agree with BG.

bazil9 on April 29, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Always unsettling the first time.

Axe on April 29, 2014 at 3:21 PM

You would argue that non-governmental organizations cannot offensive and harmful to freedom? That argument is absurd on its face.

claudius on April 29, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Straw man, I dismiss you.

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Sterling-Silver.

Bishop on April 29, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Benjamins, dudes. It started with cool things like lust for hot, young babes, hubris, and pathological insecurity. But by the end, it was just math.

Axe on April 29, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Pretty much. Private foibles publicized– as if there is any thing private for public figures– and the rest is fodder for the pc brigades. The players knew who they were playing for. The whole town knew.

de rigueur on April 29, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Banned for life from evidence on an ILLEGIAL WIRETAP

HOPE HE SUES THE BIMBO AND THE LEAGUE

sniffles1999 on April 29, 2014 at 3:17 PM

i bet he does and who knows maybe he wanted to get magic in a bind couse he manipulated this with the chicky thinking he might get a lower price when sterling sells the team…watch sterling get 1.5 billion for the clippers …just watch.

gracie on April 29, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Vince on April 29, 2014 at 2:53 PM

I agree.

OT, but somewhat on topic. I look at racial terms on a bit of a sliding scale. Some people, for example, Libfreewhatever, has cited Bundy and HA commenters as white supremacists. Now, for that term, I need proof of a Klan outfit in the closet or swastikas on the wall. Short of that, I need a guy receiving mailers like you wouldn’t believe. Three decades ago, a law school classmate who sat next to me in a class spotted me a conservative. This guy passed along a magazine that I looked at later, and it was unbelievable. I returned it to him the next day, with the comment that I’d pass. I’d never seen anything like it. That guy was a white supremacist.

Past that, we have terms like bigot, racist, and prejudiced. Chime in with others. Rightly or wrongly, I tend reserves the terms bigot and racist for people who obsess on people like them, who can barely function while around them, and who are virtually beyond redemption on these matters. If you show them a film of themselves, they see no problem. They’d watch All in the Family and not see that Archie in many cases held ridiculous views. They are very loaded terms, and I think they need to be used carefully.

Prejudice, on the other hand, seems an effective term. For me, it has a wide spectrum. And anyone who denies more than a sliver of prejudice or who denies it altogether is lying. Prejudice applies to the overwhelming number of Americans, again, on a wide spectrum. But regardless of where one the spectrum, if you show someone on this spectrum what they’ve said or done, he or she immediately recognizes his or her error.

What this guy said was wrong. But I’m kind of tired of racist and bigot being lobbed at everyone found saying or doing something that they shouldn’t. Commerce dictates that he loses his team. Racist and bigot seem to me to encompass an irrational level of hate that I just don’t see in many statements or actions that, nevertheless, demonstrate prejudice.

Condemn what he said, what he’s done. Don’t condemn him. Few of us even know him.

BuckeyeSam on April 29, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Not all races and groups are treated the equally under this politically correct paradigm. Some are fair grounds for criticism (whites, men, Christians) while others are totally off limits.

bluegill on April 29, 2014 at 3:12 PM

As I was informed by my black neighbor, “Black people can’t be racist. Only you white folk can be racist”. Furthermore, our local public school district is currently 78% black, but as noted at the school board meeting, whites can not be treated as the minority in the school district because they aren’t minorities.”

Welcome to Bizzaro World, population us.

Mo_mac on April 29, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Can we call this the Sterling-Silver decision?

airupthere on April 29, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Sterling-Silver.

Bishop on April 29, 2014 at 3:21 PM

airupthere on April 29, 2014 at 3:24 PM

It will be pretty interesting when NBA players start getting banned for yelling “biotch!” during a game or anytime out in public, or in private now that I think about it.

All that will be left is a few dudes on a handful of teams.

Bishop on April 29, 2014 at 3:24 PM

You can now have your private property rights stripped from you for thought crimes. 1984 has arrived.

More disgusting than the comments that started all of this.

Welcome to Amerika.

Exninja on April 29, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Uh… you could have said that when Jimmy The Greek got deep-sixed by CBS in 1988. This is hardly a new situation.

Myron Falwell on April 29, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Oprah Winfrey tried to get a white girl fired because the shop the white girl worked at was closed and Oprah wanted to shop. Naturally, Oprah called the poor sales girl racist.

birdwatcher on April 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM

This isn’t complicated, people.

NorthernCross on April 29, 2014 at 3:20 PM

But sports teams aren’t your typical private oganizations. Many have been protected from competition by antitrust exemptions. They build their stadius and facilities with largely public money.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Benjamins, dudes. It started with cool things like lust for hot, young babes, hubris, and pathological insecurity. But by the end, it was just math.

Axe on April 29, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Pretty much. Private foibles publicized– as if there is any thing private for public figures– and the rest is fodder for the pc brigades. The players knew who they were playing for. The whole town knew.

de rigueur on April 29, 2014 at 3:22 PM

It’s worse than that. There are many more just like Sterling and worse, all colors, creeds, and genders, who not only ‘looked the other way’, but colluded to protect that status quo… because making waves… rocking the boat… can cause others to wash overboard, too.

thatsafactjack on April 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM

It doesn’t seem too far-fetched to see an agreement for, if not yet execution of, a quick sale by Sterling to an ownership group headed by Magic.

Johnson already owns pieces of the Dodgers and WNBA LA Sparks and is ginormously wealthy and influential as a private businessman. And imo there’s not much reason except stubborn pride for Sterling to drag this out. He should take his $1billion in “go-away” money and be done with it.

I’ve had Magic on my wildcard list for first-time candidates for awhile now, and I think that’s what his story arc might include. His Q-score among California voters must be off the chart.

Sacramento on April 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM

It was hilarious to hear Adam Silver solemnly patting the NBA on the back for their great support of race relations. LOL! The NBA would have long ago become a backwater minor league without the black atheletes that make up 78% of their player population. Race relations my foot — it’s all about money.

KS Rex on April 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM

I thought the market was handling this very well. He lost all of his sponsors and people could choose to go to the games or not. The players could choose to play or not and the NBA can kick him out of the club if they want. If it hurts other teams, they should have policed this a long time ago so no sympathy for that.

The problem is with people who want to use bs like this for their own agenda. I have a feeling that Sterling will make out alright on this and the NBA will be ok as well.

Vince on April 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Watch out, NBA — players, owners, sponsors, fans — ALL of your private utterances are now open to public scrutiny and eternal damnation. ASSUME you are being taped — because you will be.

Reap what you sow. The hindsight regret is gonna be thick on this one.

Rational Thought on April 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM

I’m all for the invisible hand and no, the 1st doesn’t protect you from private entities meting out punishmnet, but i’m not comfortable with the pitchfork mob mentality these things have or with ruining someone’s life for it, just seems very medieval and backwards. At least this is actual racism though and not the pretend racism for political expediency everyone got their fauxrage on with Bundy.

clearbluesky on April 29, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Yes, and once that mob claims another scalp they will only seek more and more, making more and more speech off limits in the process. Forget Donald Sterling and his racism…with the Mozilla thing, we learned that you cannot even donate to a group that has the “wrong” view on something, and keep your job at the same time. It’s a very troubling trend.

changer1701 on April 29, 2014 at 3:26 PM

I’m glad black folks don’t say things like this about white people in private.

bingo

newportmike on April 29, 2014 at 3:26 PM

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