FanDuel - WFBC

April 29, 2014

NBA Bans Donald Sterling for Life: Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA for his racist comments. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday that he will try to force the controversial owner to sell his franchise. Sterling has also been fined $2.5 million, and Silver made no effort to hide his outrage over the comments. "We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling's views," Silver said. "They simply have no place in the NBA."

posted by rcade to basketball at 02:16 PM - 67 comments

Now release Chris Paul to the Lakers and send the rest of the organization to Seattle.

posted by phaedon at 02:27 PM on April 29

"I agree 100% with Commissioner Silvers findings and the actions taken against Donald Sterling." -- Mark Cuban

posted by rcade at 02:34 PM on April 29

Wow. I was not sure the NBA would be able to come down on him this hard.

Well done Adam Silver.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:17 PM on April 29

Is it weird that I want to go to the Clippers game tonight?

posted by phaedon at 03:39 PM on April 29

Not really. It's the first chance to see a Clippers team freed from the onus of the anus owner in 43 years.

posted by rcade at 03:42 PM on April 29

Hey now, there are plenty of honest, hardworking anuses out there.

posted by Hugh Janus at 03:45 PM on April 29

Bomani Jones' take is worth a listen

posted by phaedon at 03:55 PM on April 29

Can someone follow Dan Snyder around with a tape recorder? Surely he's privately said something this bad as well.

posted by bender at 04:29 PM on April 29

Can someone follow Dan Snyder around ................

You said it, and that is now the slippery slope everyone is on. What is now allowable? Who gets to judge what is allowable? Sir Charles..maybe the Around the Horn crew?

Hey, there is no defending Sterling, and no one will try. But now....if you have views on lots of stuff, you are subject to public scrutiny like never before. Instead of making him the ultimate pariah, Sterling will be banned, fined, removed, and profit insanely. Magics' group will offer over $1B perhaps. And Sterling was livid that said girlfriend was hanging with Magic, posing, instgramming and the like.

How this tape got made and released is what smells now.

Lets make up some rules as we go along, shall we?

posted by Leominster at 04:54 PM on April 29

His girlfriend set him up and directed the conversation to race, but he said what he said and deserves what he gets.

posted by ic23b at 05:01 PM on April 29

You said it, and that is now the slippery slope everyone is on. What is now allowable? Who gets to judge what is allowable?

You might also enjoy Popehat's Twitter feed right now as he's pointing out everyone who thinks Sterling's First Amendment rights have been violated (alternatively, deadspin collected them here). If you're suggesting spouting racist gibberish at your mistress who's at war with your wife isn't safe in God's America anymore, I have to say as far as slippery slopes go, that's more a slightly icy uneven walk.

posted by yerfatma at 05:10 PM on April 29

His girlfriend set him up and directed the conversation to race, but he said what he said and deserves what he gets.

His "archivist," whom he apparently paid to record him because his golden thoughts sometimes escaped his mouth too quickly for his brain to remember them, and who reminded him during the conversation that she was recording, and whom he fired after she refused to sign a confidentiality agreement about that conversation.

posted by Etrigan at 05:13 PM on April 29

Slippery slope, indeed: there is no rational argument or demonstrable mechanism to support the idea that an inevitable follow-on effect of Sterling's ouster will be other owners with "views on stuff" forced to sell their teams after saying racist shit on record.

I may be misunderstanding you, though.

Perhaps you mean that Sterling was planning to sell the team soon anyway, so he deliberately said what he said with the knowledge that his girlfriend was recording it, knowing that Magic Johnson would hear it, so that when the league inevitably forced Sterling to sell the team, Magic would be honor-bound to enter the bidding war, driving the price up no matter who ends up buying the team, thus increasing Sterling's profit. That's some devilish shit right there, do you think the girlfriend's in on it?

Set-up of the century. I think you're onto something.

posted by Hugh Janus at 05:21 PM on April 29

First Marge Schott, now Donald Sterling! When will these jackbooted political correctness police ever stop?! It's getting to the point where dumbshit peckerwood gazillionaires can't even get away with 20+ years worth of flagrant racism without being disciplined by the organizations in whose success they have a vested interest! The next thing you know, I won't even be able to wear my white robe and hood (just symbols of my WASP heritage) to work without my employer being able to discipline me! ALL CAPS RANT...ARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!

Sorry. Took a few deep breaths. Nice job, NBA.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:05 PM on April 29

This was Adam Silver's first big call as commissioner, and I'm sure he knew it was going to be a defining one after 20 years working for David Stern. A lot of the pieces talking about the transition mentioned how Silver was closest to the newer, younger team owners (Mark Cuban, Ted Leonsis, Robert Pera) with digital/tech backgrounds who supported his own efforts with NBA.com and NBA TV and other innovations; Sterling represented the other side of ownership.

posted by etagloh at 06:08 PM on April 29

This was Adam Silver's first big call as commissioner, and I'm sure he knew it was going to be a defining one after 20 years working for David Stern.

So you're saying he put Sterling in the freezer overnight to make sure he made the right call?

posted by Etrigan at 08:17 PM on April 29

yep, and if you are not 100% on the bandwagon....then somehow you support this 80 y.o. billionaire bigot. WRONG

He's been a bigot for years, paid off a few groups and people a few times, and been getting away with his 80 year old views for years. In other news, water is wet and valet parking is free at Caesars Palace.

And his 30 y.o. gf can release some audio of him being a bigot, in response to a golddigger lawsuit, pose with Magic, service his johnson, and piss off her bf.

Silver rides in on the wave of righteousness, commands him gone, decrees he must sell the team, and instantly increasing his bottom line net worth of this asset by $300M. It was worth 700M, he'll probably get $1B. Yeah, thats a defining moment alright. Todays NBA. He's been an owner for 34 years He's the longest current owner. But they had NO IDEA he was an old fart bigot....please stop now

Thank gawd the Stanley Cup playoffs are on.

posted by Leominster at 08:51 PM on April 29

What is now allowable? Who gets to judge what is allowable?

I'm going to guess that the league gets to judge what is allowable. Wow, that wasn't very hard.

But now....if you have views on lots of stuff, you are subject to public scrutiny like never before.

Yes, it was much better back in the old days when racism and other horrible things were hidden behind closed doors and kept secret from the public.

posted by grum@work at 08:52 PM on April 29

I'm all for discussing contrarian viewpoints, but I'm not sure if I'm buying the slippery slope argument.

It's hard not to compare the NBA to the NFL. The latter has performed very well under one central authority. I think the NBA wants to see Silver succeed; it could do great things for a brand that has lost its luster over the last few years. The Chris Paul fiasco, the Donaghy scandal, the Charlotte and Seattle moves, two lockouts, GM's talking about tanking seasons. I really don't watch any regular season games anymore.

I've also said in the past that in the NFL, if you are perceived as a "team player" on the field, the narrative regarding your off-the-field indiscretions instantly shifts in your favor. There is often a racial element to this double standard, but not always. Roethlisberger, team player. Favre, team player. Terrell Owens, Michael Vick, Randy Moss, not team players.

So having said that, probably the grossest thing Sterling did on the tape was insult Magic Johnson by name. I feel like that was a huge slap in the face to the association and its players. I don't feel like this ends up being a slippery slope where we dig up dirt on all the owners, although there may end up being one or two more casualties. But stupid owners like Jim Irsay will get to keep their jobs, as long as they keep their shit together.

So while I agree with Bomani Jones completely, I also think the NBA is to some extent off the hook for ignoring who "Donald Sterling the businessman" was for the last ten years. I think if you are going to start pointing fingers, you have to remember the fan base and the city has been supporting the Clippers knowing full well what happened. I decided to skip the game tonight, but I hope there is an outpouring of love among the fans.

posted by phaedon at 10:16 PM on April 29

As long as your opinions, no matter how reprehensible, are kept to yourself, there's nothing anyone can do. It doesn't matter what sort of boss you are. You may be cheap or generous, demand perfection or allow something short of ideal as long as it's best effort. As long as you treat everyone of whatever ethnic, religious, sexual, or racial persuasion equally, it may not be pleasant, but it is within the bounds of proper conduct. Now comes Donald Sterling who allows his opinions to become public knowledge, thereby angering those whom he employs, their colleagues in the NBA, the NBA management, and his fellow owners. Most importantly he has managed to piss off nearly every man, woman, and child in the US who had hoped that attitudes such as Sterling's were disappearing.

The NBA has done about the best it could, but I fear we have not heard the last from Mr. Sterling. The league can fine him and ban him, but can it force the sale of the team? I really don't know that it can happen, no matter the desirability of such an outcome. If Sterling does not sell, what will happen to Coach Rivers and those players who are under contract past the end of this season? Would it not be possible to file a complaint with whatever government agency handles these things claiming that Sterling's comments have turned the Clippers into a "hostile work place"? The employees could then demand relief such as a forced sale (not likely for a hostile work place complaint) or release from their contracts (entirely possible). When I was still working, our annual ethics training usually included a unit on workplace harassment. Things far more innocuous than Sterling's tirade resulted in findings of the hostile workplace and discipline of the guilty parties.

There are a couple of things I find a bit odd. This is not the first time that private conversations have been deliberately recorded, became public, and caused a great deal of harm to someone. There was this guy named Richard Nixon who managed to have some interesting recordings come back to haunt him, 18-minute gap or not. You would think that someone who is supposedly as astute as Sterling might have thought about this before encouraging recording. The second thing is the ironic coincidence between the names of the two main characters, Donald Sterling and Adam Silver. Is not Sterling a quality grade of Silver?

posted by Howard_T at 11:28 PM on April 29

You said it, and that is now the slippery slope everyone is on. What is now allowable? Who gets to judge what is allowable?

I'm not seeing the slippery slope concern. Sterling had a contract with the other NBA owners that subjected him to some rules in his conduct. He embarrassed the league and risked costing it big with fans and stakeholders, so contract clauses have been invoked to get rid of him.

The league can fine him and ban him, but can it force the sale of the team?

If 23 team owners vote him out, he has to sell. Silver reportedly already has the votes, which would make sense, since Silver and the league would look foolish and ineffective if the NBA banned Sterling and still had to endure him as an owner.

posted by rcade at 08:04 AM on April 30

You would think that someone who is supposedly as astute as Sterling might have thought about this before encouraging recording.

You don't get to be a billionaire without thinking that you are always the smartest guy in every room you're in (oh, sure, some other guy might know more about some single topic, but you're smarter than him, in ways that count). Your opinions are right, because they're yours, and you have applied the exact right amount of effort into developing them and thought them all through perfectly logically, because you are so damn smart.

Sterling wanted to be recorded because his words and opinions and thoughts and ramblings were better than everyone else's and needed to be preserved for posterity. Other people whose recordings came back to bite them were not as smart as Donald T. Sterling.

posted by Etrigan at 08:18 AM on April 30

instantly increasing his bottom line net worth of this asset by $300M. It was worth 700M, he'll probably get $1B

First of all, that's a straw man. Second of all, how did the NBA banning him drive up the value of the franchise? Here are some actual numbers. The fact a bidding war might drive the price up reflects the value of NBA franchises, not how the NBA has helped Donald Sterling.

Regardless, you're treating this like it's shocking. If Sterling were a CXO/ senior VP of a public company and this came out, do you feel the result would be different? Would they let someone drive down the collective value of their enterprise? Other owners might like to keep those billion dolalr valuations for their franchises rather than watch the value drop because of player unrest.

He's been a bigot for years, paid off a few groups and people a few times, and been getting away with his 80 year old views for years

So . . . he's grandfathered in racism-wise? What should have been the outcome?

posted by yerfatma at 09:30 AM on April 30

If 23 team owners vote him out, he has to sell.

According to the legaltalking heads, Article 13 states that they must have certain "just causes". THAT will be a potential sticking point that Sterling hangs his legal case on. And, THAT was one of the areas I was referencing when I stated "who gets to decide" (before the slice and dice crowd got in there)

Of course, if he does fight in civil court, he then loses all his new-found equity and potential sale worthiness. Maybe ge doesn't care about $1Billion. (betcha his wife does) He could fight for years in court, which would reposition Sharpton and JJackson outside his courthouse instead of courtside, like last night. Because, of course, even though the world is praising Silver for his actions, and almost everybody appears 100% satisfied right now, Al and Jesse still showed up to protest.

posted by Leominster at 09:33 AM on April 30

So . . . he's grandfathered in racism-wise? What should have been the outcome?

The outcome should have been dealt with years ago, perhaps during/after one of the two Federal lawsuits about racial and housing discrimination, etc. But the media was all abuzz with what color Donald Sterns ties were going to be on a particular day.

If you ignore something thats very bad, it never gets better.

My father-in-law is a black man, who also lives in Inglewood, CA. He, and most of his cohort, have despised this guy for years. He would never be caught dead going to a Clippers game. He and his friends, family knew Sterling was this way for years, and would never support this franchise.

Its anything but shocking to me and other Southern californians

posted by Leominster at 09:44 AM on April 30

Its anything but shocking to me and other Southern californians

It's not shocking to anyone who follows the NBA. I still don't see what your point is except that we should somehow think less of the NBA for finally dealing with Sterling when the opportunity presented itself.

posted by yerfatma at 10:19 AM on April 30

First of all, that's a straw man. Second of all, how did the NBA banning him drive up the value of the franchise? Here are some actual numbers. The fact a bidding war might drive the price up reflects the value of NBA franchises, not how the NBA has helped Donald Sterling.

yerfatma -- here's one for your prediction tracker.

posted by holden at 10:26 AM on April 30

Of course, if he does fight in civil court, he then loses all his new-found equity and potential sale worthiness. Maybe he doesn't care about $1Billion. (betcha his wife does) He could fight for years in court [...]

This would be the ultimate in cutting off your nose to spite your face. From what I have seen/heard, if a sale does not go through in the near term (over the summer), Rivers may walk and the players' union may push for immediate free agency for all Clips players, in which case the value of the team presumably goes way down. Of course, the timing and logistics of this would be really interesting -- assuming the players were able to get released from their contracts, would have to be timed to be done in conjunction with the normal free agency period (so that they are not scrambling to find teams once the cap room has all been taken up by other signings) and the union might look to push for some short-term or long-term cap exceptions (at least for ex-Clippers players), considering that there presumably would be one team no one wants to play for and therefore de facto less available money. Also would be interesting to see what players on player-friendly deals (overpays) would do, if they knew they could not fetch their current salaries on the open market.

posted by holden at 10:33 AM on April 30

yerfatma -- here's one for your prediction tracker.

If there's one thing I trust the BSG for, it's economics. To think he's always making fun of people who overbid in fantasy baseball.

posted by yerfatma at 10:40 AM on April 30

yer......that IS the point. The NBA has a habit and history of NOT dealing with nasty issues.

posted by Leominster at 10:42 AM on April 30

He could fight for years in court ...

True, but when the best possible outcome is to own a team you can't control or even watch play in person, why do it? Sterling will make a huge amount of money whether he sells now or in five years, so that's not likely to be the deciding factor.

I could see him filing a multi-million suit against the NBA to give him a platform to assert that his reputation has been wrongfully damaged *and* finding a buyer before next season.

posted by rcade at 10:53 AM on April 30

The NBA has a habit and history of NOT dealing with nasty issues.

And now they have a new commissioner and he's dealt with as nasty an issue a league has faced since the last betting scandal. What's the problem?

posted by yerfatma at 11:22 AM on April 30

The NBA has a habit and history of NOT dealing with nasty issues.

You know what'll help them change that? Railing at them for actually dealing with one.

posted by Etrigan at 11:24 AM on April 30

Yeah, yeah, you guys are all correct. Now that they've actually done something, all is forgiven.

Now, like KJ and Mason have said, we demand he sell the team. do it now, on our timeline. we demand quickness. Because that kid is almost done shinin' up my Bentley, and I gotta get outta here.

posted by Leominster at 11:48 AM on April 30

You know what'll help them change that? Railing at them for actually dealing with one.

Heh. It's amazing how complicated people make things. Doing the right thing is never enough.

Because that kid is almost done shinin' up my Bentley, and I gotta get outta here.

What is this supposed to be, some weird class resentment against people inside basketball who have the temerity to be offended by what Sterling said?

I don't remember M.J. ever engaging people on hot-button issues that arose in basketball. He kept his image as anodyne and corporate friendly as he could. The fact he did so here should tell you something about how extreme Sterling's offense was in the eyes of the basketball community.

posted by rcade at 11:50 AM on April 30

cade- and Sterlings been offensive for years. Now that he's the soup du jour, everybody's piling on. And now that demands are met, we'll have more demands.

posted by Leominster at 12:26 PM on April 30

Okay, okay! I'll fire up the goddamn time machine already. But this is the last time, Leominster! I hope you're satisfied!

posted by Hugh Janus at 12:34 PM on April 30

I don't remember M.J. ever engaging people on hot-button issues

One of my least-favorite moments in sports*, "Republicans buy shoes, too". Interestingly, whether Jordan ever said it is hard to pin down,

* Admittedly it was easier to hate because I'm a Celtics fan.

posted by yerfatma at 12:42 PM on April 30

cade- and Sterlings been offensive for years.

None of his past actions were so widely received as offensive that they became the biggest sports story in the world for a few days.

People in the corporate world pay all the time for doing something that sparks worldwide outrage. Remember Justine Sacco? At least Donald Sterling can wipe away his tears with $1,000 bills.

posted by rcade at 01:06 PM on April 30

None of his past actions were so widely received as offensive that they became the biggest sports story in the world for a few days.

Sterling buys skid row property in 2006, states he's going to help homeless, and gets a huge tax advantage saying so. Nothing has ever been built.

Sterling then get sued and agrees to pay a fine of over 2.5 M for housing discrimination against minorities in 2009. He also agrees to pay all litigation costs for both sides, estimated at over 4M.

Sterling receives a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the NAACP for ....who knows what, a few thousand tickets ......in 2009, and is slated to receive another award again in 2014.

Sterling is caught on tape arguing with his black/latino girlfriend about racial issues, using derogatory comments to the g/f, who by the way is in a gold-digger lawsuit for 1.8M

FINALLY....we have something we can get him on.....(whew).....wow, that was really hard work. Kudos to the sports world and the sports media for over the years doing all the digging, hard work, and investigating NOT. Big kudos to the NBA, the big show press conference that featured the new commish looking like a Romulan dictiating his terms to the USS Enterprise, and big kudos to the players assn for finally coming down hard on this guy for "saying hurtful things on a tape that his g/f slipped over to deadspin and TMZ."

Nothing ever gets better when you do nothing- especially when you don't even try. And so now, everybody thinks this is a good outcome- when the league and media have been sitting on their collective hands for years. You are all getting scooped by Huffington Post and The Nation fergawdsakes...

posted by Leominster at 03:42 PM on April 30

What Helped Bring Donald Sterling Down? A Threatened Strike Against Racism

That would have been an amazing statement (and a hell of a video-bite for the sports/news to use). Just that ball bouncing off the court (as no one touches it) and the backs of the players walking off the court...

posted by grum@work at 03:44 PM on April 30

Sterling buys skid row property in 2006, states he's going to help homeless, and gets a huge tax advantage saying so. Nothing has ever been built.

Sterling then get sued and agrees to pay a fine of over 2.5 M for housing discrimination against minorities in 2009. He also agrees to pay all litigation costs for both sides, estimated at over 4M.

Sterling receives a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the NAACP for ....who knows what, a few thousand tickets ......in 2009, and is slated to receive another award again in 2014.

Shady business dealings for profit.
Shady business dealings that are cleared up by paying money (voluntarily and involuntarily) to everyone involved.
Shady award ceremony for donating money/being famous.

You'll pardon the public if they don't get riled up about these sort of things since they happen an awful lot in the world of business and finance.

What doesn't happen a lot is someone in that position being caught on tape saying that he doesn't want a particular race to associate with his girlfriend, and that a particular race shouldn't partake in his business (paying for tickets and attending games).

when the league and media have been sitting on their collective hands for years.

I'm pretty sure the "media" weren't "sitting on their collective hands" if you knew about all these, as I doubt you were personally involved in the lawsuits...

The fact that the big business owners didn't want to sanction one of their own for shady business actions isn't surprising since I'm sure some of those same business owners have their own shady business actions that they don't want to talk about...

posted by grum@work at 03:53 PM on April 30

grum@work.........so they get a pass...of course. everybody-owners, press, players, league

Ok, if you say so. nothing to see here, folks, move along....

oh..and wait....and the dude she's photographed with is probably one of the lead groups looking to buy his franchise now..

posted by Leominster at 04:09 PM on April 30

Leominster: None of your first three examples has anything to do with the NBA. A pro sports league isn't going to expel or punish an owner over business litigation that has nothing to do with the league. People and groups rich enough to own a pro sports team are likely to be in litigation often.

Also, it isn't an established fact that the girlfriend released the audio. Her attorney denies that allegation.

posted by rcade at 04:16 PM on April 30

Kudos to the sports world and the sports media for over the years doing all the digging,

deadspin's tag for Sterling goes back to this story in 2009. There have to be close to a hundred stories there. A simple search of SI's archive provides links back to 1982. 18 months into his ownership SI was calling it a "Reign of Error":

Sterling is a good example of the kind of ownership problems the league has had in recent years. Eighteen months ago he purchased the Clippers for $13.5 million and pledged to spend "unlimited sums" to turn the team into an immediate contender. With vast real estate holdings and an estimated net worth of close to $300 million, Sterling looked like just the man to do it, too. He started his crusade with a campaign to boost ticket sales that, oddly enough, featured Sterling's grinning face on billboards throughout San Diego County. That was but the first indication of the kind of bizarre year that lay in store for the franchise. On opening night last season before a home crowd, Sterling became so excited by the Clippers' 125-110 victory over Houston that he unbuttoned his shirt to the navel while the game was in progress, and as it ended he pranced across the court and jumped into the arms of Coach Paul Silas. And he kissed him.

By mid-January Sterling had been fined $10,000 by the league for suggesting that the Clippers might purposely lose games in order to get the first pick in the draft and a shot at Virginia's Ralph Sampson. Then things got really strange. Before the season was over, Sterling would fail to make deferred compensation payments to half a dozen former players, among them Silas. He would fail to pay operating expenses (the Hyatt House in Oakland refused to accommodate the Clippers at the end of last season for not paying their bills). And he owed $225,000 to the players' and general managers' pension funds and $300,000 to assorted other creditors. And that's not mentioning the time he took an NBA executive, who was visiting from New York, to an expensive restaurant in San Diego and then had to stick his guest with the check when the waiter informed Sterling that the computer had rejected his credit card.

What is it you want?

posted by yerfatma at 04:22 PM on April 30

and it only took 32 years to get rid of him. very classy

posted by Leominster at 04:35 PM on April 30

Doing good is never enough. It had to be done a long time ago or it doesn't count.

posted by rcade at 04:47 PM on April 30

Leominster, what is your intent in this conversation? I'm asking seriously here. What's your preferred outcome here on SportsFilter of this discussion?

posted by Etrigan at 05:24 PM on April 30

well, etrigan...thanks for asking. I guess I'd ask folks to look at a story like this, one that becomes a national one, scandalous, newsworthy, outrageous, all of that, and really start some self-examination. By everyone. The NBA, the owners, the press, everyone.

Go ahead, in the glare of the public eye, a few years back, and say to the world that Donald Sterling is an owner in the NBA, and despite his well-documented past, there is absolutely NOTHING that anyone can do- not the owners, not the league, not players, not the press- we're powerless, its all OK, these are not basketball related, no one wants to start anything- that all of that is pure bullshit that doesn't pass the smell test in the larger court of general public opinion and newsworthiness that this story is now in.

Even a link to a fine story right in this thread- the Dave Zirin article- states, quoted "....Yes, we still need to know why it is the NBA's former commissioner David Stern and the owners coddled Donald Sterling and his racism for so many years.............." oh, ok....well gollygarshdangit, thats the same thing I'm saying here, that everyone has been asleep at the switch, or unwilling to do anything about this egotistical, arrogant, misogynistic, and racist dude for 33 years or so.

I wonder if Jerry Buss ever had any second thought about urging his buddy, Donald Sterling, to go ahead and buy the Clippers.

Ya know, Colin Cowherd today took a chance, as he often does, and said that this IS a slippery slope about how the NBA came to this tape-recorded conversation. And that people feel, generally, that "if we don't like you, then its OK to get stuff like this by any means.." but "if you are well-liked, then it would have been an invasion of privacy..." So we have the NBA, a huge, world-class sports league, about to strip an owner of his assets because of what he said to a girlfriend, exposing his racists feelings, on an audio tape that they got somehow. And according to Article 13 of the leagues constitution, we (might)(but we're not sure) be able to do just that. Well, well, Sterlings prolly gonna lawyer up on that one, and then its see ya all in court time- where all the good stuff comes out.

My comment and concern here merely is.......is this the best way to run the NBA? We couldn't do anything until now? and actually face the public with a straight face saying that? Thats what I was addressing when I said the sports media has gotten scooped by HuffPo, the Nation, probably CNN and FoxNews.

Now I know there are plenty of folks on this blog that are in the sports/media business. And that if they write exactly what they feel, or want, or don't keep it 100% sports-related, they will lose access to the game they cover. But then, when this shite hits the fan, the national media swoops in, gets it all up in a lather, gets half of it wrong, and then drops it when the next scandal hits in about a week.

In my first post, I said that DS was an evil person, and there is no excuses, no defense, and that it was about time. But I took to task everyone connected with this, because it was no secret that he was all of that- and has the court appearances and settlements to prove it.

But by saying that and taking others to task as well as DS, well, some people just can't handle that. Lets keep spouting the old party line, we knew he was bad, but there was nothing to be done until now. Lets get on twitter and yell finally that the evil witch is dead, and hope sportscenter and FS1 puts my tweet on TV.

And the players, along with Sharpton and Jackson (who showed up to protest anyways) can make demands, have them met, and then make MORE demands- and thats OK, without question? really. We now demand a quick resolution. We demand the team be sold in three hours. blah blah blah. And no one calls them to task for such ridiculous, undoable demands. Thats because no one likes Don Sterling anymore, so its all OK. He gets no one sticking up for his due process, he gets no day in court- he gets his audio played all over the airwaves because no one likes him.

Rather than patting each other on the back for a jolly job well done, can't we look at the totality of this whole mess, and say that ..in the future, perhaps we can do better than have guys like Donald Sterling ever associated with professional sports franchises?

And thanks for asking.

posted by Leominster at 06:57 PM on April 30

why it is the NBA's former commissioner David Stern and the owners coddled Donald Sterling and his racism for so many year

He's a billionaire. He needed to really step on his ding-dong before they could ever do anything without the cost of legislation outweighing the cost of doing The Right Thing. The NBA is a business. It's amoral. Looking for morality in it is a losing game.

But you're not really playing. You can't quote Dave Zirin and then reference the braveness of Colin Cowherd. Colin Cowherd is . . . I was going to say "racist", but that's not true. He's something worse than that. He baits listeners with race in order to make a living. That's lower than Sterling who's just an ignorant, ancient asshole. Dave Zirin is a (very good) sports writer slightly to the Left of Lenin. You're not really interested in what's right, you're simply being contrarian. It's a gag and a weak one, trying to look smart by disagreeing with everything and everyone.

And the players, along with Sharpton and Jackson (who showed up to protest anyways)

Cite please.

posted by yerfatma at 07:03 PM on April 30

I wonder if Jerry Buss ever had any second thought about urging his buddy, Donald Sterling, to go ahead and buy the Clippers.

You're talking about something that happened in 1981, when the NBA was in such weak shape that a team could be purchased for $12.5 million and the NBA TV contract was acquired by USA Networks in a three-year deal worth $1.5 million a year.

Do you recognize that the league was a completely different place back then *and* Buss might not have known Sterling was an odious character?

Because if the answer is yes, once a sports owner is in the club it would take a hell of a lot for one to get expelled, given that litigation after a ban is a lead-pipe lock.

Until this week, I thought the NBA didn't have the ability to ban or expel an owner.

He gets no one sticking up for his due process, he gets no day in court ...

So the NBA should've gotten rid of Sterling much sooner but it's happening too fast?

posted by rcade at 07:30 PM on April 30

from the Christian Science Monitor: The Los Angeles Chapter of Al Sharpton's National Action Network led chants: "No justice, no peace." http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2014/0430/Voices-from-the-Clippers-crowd-Love-basketball-not-racism Jesse Jackson was there- a quick google image serach has numerous photos of him posing with Chris Paul, and he's quoted as saying "people like Sterling is why we need affirmative action"....gawd, please....no, we need a league, a commissioner, owners and a press corps with some balls.

So yerfat- sorry, I'll quote both those guys, they're both current, have a following, opinions, and detractors for sure. And the only thing I'm really taking about is the complete foolishness of everyone involved patting each other on the back, saying how good a job we did here on this fiasco. If you feel Cowherd is racist, good for you- using catchwords like that really gets you noticed lately in America. But more importantly, you keep echoing the "we can't do anything about it" party line- he's a billionaire and we cant' touch him until we can play gotcha with an audiotape. Great way to run a pro sports league.

posted by Leominster at 07:37 PM on April 30

cade- that reference to due process and demands had more to the sentence. All Sterling gets from the media and the NBA is his audio tape being played. Because we don't like him- and thats OK now because.....we don't like him.

we can play the slice and dice game all day and night, but how about some complete sentences?

posted by Leominster at 07:43 PM on April 30

Ya know, Colin Cowherd today took a chance, as he often does, and said that this IS a slippery slope about how the NBA came to this tape-recorded conversation.

Slippery-slope arguments are the last refuge of a scoundrel. "Well, sure, this guy's bad, but what about the people who aren't bad?!?"

And that people feel, generally, that "if we don't like you, then its OK to get stuff like this by any means.." but "if you are well-liked, then it would have been an invasion of privacy..."

Who's saying this?

So we have the NBA, a huge, world-class sports league, about to strip an owner of his assets because of what he said to a girlfriend, exposing his racists feelings, on an audio tape that they got somehow.

I believe you mean "...because of what he said to an employee he paid to record his conversation who reminded him during the conversation that the conversation was being recorded..."

And the players, along with Sharpton and Jackson (who showed up to protest anyways) can make demands, have them met, and then make MORE demands- and thats OK, without question?

What demands were made, and then met, and who then made more demands? I've seen a single demand: throw Donald Sterling out of the NBA Owners Club. That's it. Al Sharpton's organization was there; using his name as a beacon of Oh Look Here Comes The Demands is at best misleading. So Jesse Jackson used this as a bridge to talk about affirmative action (in an interview conducted somewhere else entirely, mind you) -- big deal. That doesn't mean anything to anyone else in the conversation.

He gets no one sticking up for his due process, he gets no day in court- he gets his audio played all over the airwaves because no one likes him.

Due process? He's not being convicted of a crime, he's being told by a voluntary association that he voluntarily joined and which he has had a hand in writing the rules of for more than three decades that they want him out, and oh by the way he's going to make nine figures on the deal. And he hasn't denied anything on the tapes.

Rather than patting each other on the back for a jolly job well done, can't we look at the totality of this whole mess, and say that ..in the future, perhaps we can do better than have guys like Donald Sterling ever associated with professional sports franchises?

Who here wouldn't love to keep people like Sterling out of sports? How do you propose we do that?

And saying that the NBA did a good thing today isn't unjustifiable back-patting, it's saying that today they did the right thing, even though you're loudly arguing that they didn't, or at least that it's all fruit of a poisoned tree.

Your arguments are just that: arguing. You're not expressing any coherent position other than "Everyone is wrong and/or sucks."

posted by Etrigan at 08:04 PM on April 30

There are no slippery slope arguments.

There are only slippery slope fallacies.

posted by Hugh Janus at 08:20 PM on April 30

"Everyone is wrong and/or sucks."

Well, everyone but him, of course.

posted by grum@work at 08:33 PM on April 30

Because we don't like him- and thats OK now because.....we don't like him.

That's an exceptionally weak summation of what just happened. But let's pretend that Sterling was banned just because the other 29 owners didn't like him.

Isn't that their prerogative? They formed an association that selects a commissioner and gives that person the power to suspend for an indefinite period an owner "who, in his opinion, shall have been guilty of conduct prejudicial or detrimental to the Association."

We have a SportsFilter hockey league on ESPN. An owner who joined this year became a total misogynist and homophobic dick towards another owner when his team lost in the playoffs. I'm the commissioner and I'm using my authority to kick him out.

How is this any different, aside from the fact that we don't stand to lose millions by associating with a dick?

As an NBA fan I am not afraid that a precedent has been set by the Sterling ban that might affect my team's owner. The league is obviously reluctant to expel an owner, or Sterling would've been gone a long time ago. Baseball was reluctant to expel Marge Schott too.

But if your randomly unhappy arguments are correct, and we're sliding down a slope, I am confident that any slope-sliding billionaires who own NBA teams will get the best legal representation the planet has ever seen.

posted by rcade at 08:36 PM on April 30

OK . hockey game over. Because we don't like him- and thats OK now because.....we don't like him. OK so you don't like what Cowherd said. Good for you. And yeah, I can imagine Sterling going to be having some pretty good legal rep. And etrigan, I call V. Stiviano a girlfriend, and you call her- an employee. right. Who is getting sued for 1.8 ++ by Sterlings wife. some employee. But I bet you believe that she really is just an employee. sure she is.

Yes, you are right about one thing. I think the NBA sucks. Its a complete unprofessional soap opera. Because of people like Donald Sterling. And all the folks who would pretend he was not a problem, until he grew into a huge problem. Who really kind of self-destructed, but then became everybodys instant whipping boy.

I'll take March Madness over this so-called sports league any day.

I got a plane to catch. later.....

posted by Leominster at 10:07 PM on April 30

Cool. I'll be on my yacht, ciao for now.

posted by Hugh Janus at 10:36 PM on April 30

The curse of Sterling on the league came so close to being summarily resolved some years ago. The Clippers were just one spot away from selecting Latrell Sprewell in the 92 draft.

posted by beaverboard at 12:45 AM on May 01

And etrigan, I call V. Stiviano a girlfriend, and you call her- an employee. right. Who is getting sued for 1.8 ++ by Sterlings wife. some employee. But I bet you believe that she really is just an employee. sure she is.

Speaking of slicing out parts of sentences... I didn't say she was "just" an employee. I was responding to your characterization of the recording as being an illicit and illegal taping by a vengeful gold-digger, when it appeared to be a licit and legal taping by someone who was formally on the Sterling payroll for the purpose of recording him and who is heard on the tape reminding him that he is being recorded. I also don't think the timing of the conversation and the timing of the lawsuit are coincidental, either.

Did she leak the conversation as a response to getting fired and sued? Oh, most definitely. But she almost certainly got fired and sued because of the conversation too.

posted by Etrigan at 07:20 AM on May 01

Did she leak the conversation as a response to getting fired and sued? Oh, most definitely.

Cite.

posted by rcade at 08:14 AM on May 01

I'm sorry for being unclear; I was using "most definitely" to indicate that I agreed with the supposition, not that it was proven.

posted by Etrigan at 08:41 AM on May 01

If you feel Cowherd is racist, good for you- using catchwords like that really gets you noticed lately in America.

No, I think deadspin's "race-baiting huckster" is far more accurate. His use of John Wall as a canvas to spray his bile on (multiple times! Including once calling out Wall for not having a live father) isn't so much racist as soulless.

you keep echoing the "we can't do anything about it" party line

That's one way to look at it. Another would be to say American sports on the whole does a pretty good job of dealing with race. Compare to European football where the person who threw a banana at Dani Alves may not only have been a fan of the other team, but a youth coach. Or Zenit St. Petersburgh where the fan club made it clear they won't accept players who aren't white heterosexuals. Donald Sterling is an ugly pimple on the face of American sport, but I am unclear why his popping should be a national day of mourning. You keep dressing it up as though we should all wear a hair shirt for every day we reveled in his racism, but it smells a lot like you think he was treated unfairly and are grasping for a reason we shouldn't be happy.

posted by yerfatma at 09:38 AM on May 01

Another would be to say American sports on the whole does a pretty good job of dealing with race

...often being one of the forces for change in racial politics.

posted by grum@work at 09:45 AM on May 01

What struck me was contrasting the NBA's reaction and the general support they received for the fines and ban to the reactions to Brendan Eich appointment as CEO and the resulting kerfluffle about his support of Prop 8.

posted by Mitheral at 08:42 PM on May 01

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