The firestorm of media coverage since TMZ first “reported” the audio recording of (allegedly) Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his “mistress” V. Stiviano is justified. Despite any recording tomfoolery that may have taken place (there are many layers of shade here), Donald Sterling’s racist comments are undeniably appalling and disturbing. When Adam Silver delivers the potential nuclear option (a provision in the bylaws that allows for the full rescinding of ownership) later this afternoon as many suggest he will, I will support the decision. What makes this all the more troubling is that Donald Sterling’s racism has been reeking havoc in the Clippers organization and throughout his real estate endeavors for decades and until now, little has been done about it.
Bomani Jones wrote a piece for Page 2 of espn.com titled “Donald Sterling’s racism should be news” back in 2006 and talks about it on yesterday’s Dan Le Batard Show (a worthiest listen). This stuff has been going on for years, so although I appreciate the current outpouring of righteous denouncement, we all must ask ourselves why it is this new recording (potentially part of a extortion plot) and not all of the awful things this man has done before that has inspired such outrage. As a lifelong committed NBA fan, I have always known that Donald Sterling was both a horrific owner and an awful human being. It is hard to imagine that an NBA-lifer like Doc Rivers is just finding out about his owner’s deplorable nature now. Racism coalesces next to our complacency, so we must continue to consciously converse on these subjects in all arenas of our lives. Something has got to change and I wish that it took something other than a sketchy TMZ recording to do so.
Donald Sterling – I hope today is your last day as an owner of an NBA team. You are not welcome in my beloved NBA. Good riddance. Your expulsion has been a long time coming.
UPDATE as of 3:43 PM – Adam Silver initiated the unprecedented nuclear option. Donald Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA and has been fined $2.5 million. Sterling is not allowed “to attend any NBA games or practices, be present at any Clippers office or facility, or participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team.” Sterling also will be barred from attending any Board of Governors meetings and participating in any other league activity. It will then take 75 percent of the owners to force Sterling to sell. Silver is confident that he will get the votes.