Imagine having an owner that privately disliked over 70 percent of the workforce you were a part of. Now imagine that owner’s private disliking becoming public.
Donald Sterling, current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, believes in pre-emancipation racism in a field of over 70 percent African American workers. As many coaches and players in the NBA have publicly stated, there is no room for him in their game, and I believe he should step down as owner of the Clippers.
Commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, has quickly become a player-favorite. Upon hearing the recording of racist comments by Sterling, Silver knew he had to come up with a punishment. The maximum fine allowed under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement for such behavior was a $2.5 million fine and a lifetime ban from the NBA. Silver dropped the hammer on Sterling and gave him the maximum punishment; an instant gratification to the players.
Commenting on Silver’s ruling, Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade said, “For the players, the league as a whole, we felt great. We feel he is the commissioner not only of the owners, but the commissioner of the players.”
Here comes the tricky part. After hearing the news of his punishment, Sterling said the Clippers were not for sale. He is now 80 years old, and seems to have hit his mid-life crisis too late to know how to properly deal with it.
Reports also came out this week that Sterling has been battling cancer for quite some time. Add that on top of dealing with a much younger girlfriend and now estranged wife, his comments must have solely been taken out of context, right? Wrong.
Some people may not know this, but Sterling telling his girlfriend to not publicly associate with black people is not his first incident with racism. He has had a past full of racist behavior, and this was just the culmination of the way he has secretly believed life should be for many years.
The owners of all the NBA teams have agreed to reconvene this week in hopes of figuring out a solution to this problem. As Sterling’s associates, they can come together and vote for him to be forced to sell the Clippers.
They will need a 75 percent vote out of the 30 owners to force Sterling to sell. People like Oprah Winfrey, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Earvin “Magic” Johnson, etc., have already come forward with interest in buying the Clippers. The best part about it, the names just listed are all of African American people. That would get under the skin of Sterling which would happily amuse me, and hopefully millions of others as well.
When the reconvening happens, the vote is expected to be unanimous, and all will be right with the world, or at least the NBA. I don’t think Sterling should wait for the vote to sell the team.
He is suffering from cancer, and has obviously heard all the reports I just gave you, and more. To make this process easier and not risk further public ridicule, Sterling should just take initiative and sell the Clippers, now.