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L.A. Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Banned For Life From NBA

Memphis Grizzlies v San Antonio Spurs - Game One

Adam Sliver, who has only been Commissioner of the National Basketball Association for about three months, has imposed the heaviest sanction available against L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling in the wake of the release of tapes containing racist rants from the owner:

Donald Sterling, longtime owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was barred for life from the league and fined $2.5 million by N.B.A Commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday for racist comments captured on an audio tape that Silver said Sterling admitted were his. Silver said Sterling would be barred from any contact with his team or the league and he will urge the league’s board of governors to force Sterling to sell the team.

The fine, Silver said, was the maximum allowed by the league’s constitution.

“The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful,” Silver said. “We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views. They simply have no place in the N.B.A.”

Silver said Sterling admitted the audio tape was of his voice. He said he would “do everything in my power” to see that Sterling is forced to sell the Clippers. “I fully expect to get the support I need to remove him,” Silver said.

Silver’s announcement came at the end of the league’s investigation, which started over the weekend after the audio tape was released on the website TMZ. The ensuing outrage put tremendous pressure on Silver to act decisively. Owners, players and advertisers have already passed judgement on Sterling. Players have staged small on-court protests. Some sponsors and advertisers have suspended or cut ties with the team.

Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said Monday, however, that the league had to tread carefully on owners’ rights.

“What Donald said was wrong,” Cuban told reporters Tuesday. “It was abhorrent. There’s no place for racism in the N.B.A., any business I’m associated with, and I don’t want to be associated with people who have that position. But at the same time that’s a decision I make. I think you’ve got to be very, very careful when you start making blanket statements about what people say and think, as opposed to what they do. It’s a very, very slippery slope.”

Players continued to stage protests against Sterling, with the Miami Heat mimicking the Clippers’ Sunday protest before their playoff game Monday night by tossing their warm-up gear in the middle of the court and practicing with their shirts inside out. The San Antonio Spurs and the Portland Trail Blazers wore black socks in their most recent games. Golden State Warriors Coach Mark Jackson called for fans to boycott Tuesday’s Game 5 between the Clippers and Warriors.

Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, a former N.B.A. star, called for the league to issue the maximum possible penalty against Sterling. “We’re at a defining moment in the history of the National Basketball Association,” Johnson said.

In order to force Sterling to sell the team, three-quarters of the owners of the remaining NBA teams would need to vote in favor of forcing the sale. Silver didn’t say whether he’d polled the other owners on this possibility, but he did say that he’d talk with several of them and that they supported his decision to ban and fine Sterling.  The question now is how the owners will vote, keeping in mind the probability that many of them will at least be thinking about the possibility that this extraordinary tool could be used against them at some point in the future. When you get right down to it, though, the outrage against Sterling’s remarks have been so swift and severe that his complete removal from the league would seem to be in the best interests of the NBA and, in the end, that’s likely what they’ll be most concerned about.

There may not be a quick end to this story, though. Sterling has a reputation in the business world as someone who can be quite litigious in business disputes and he could end up using the courts to drag this out as long as possible. Alternatively, perhaps he’ll just be happy to take the handsome sum he’s likely to get when he sells the team and fade away.

Update: And the Clippers team fully supports the idea of their boss getting banned for life and, probably, being forced to sell the team:

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. anjin-san says:

    A rousing defense of Sterling by Florack in 3… 2… 1…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  2. Tillman says:

    I’ll be keeping close watch to see if Sullivan finds this comparable to Brendan Eich’s ousting.

    Needless to say, I don’t think he wants to continue “dating” his girlfriend anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  3. stonetools says:

    Good move, NBA. I feel sorry for the team and the fans, but best to cut out the cancer now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Pete S says:

    I would imagine that league wide sponsors will wind up following the team sponsors out the door, should the othe rowners vote to keep this guy.

    I think the vote is a foregone conclusion, actually. The vote has to be 29-0 one way or the other, as with free agency the best players will pretty quickly wind up on the teams whose owners vote Sterling out if there is a split vote. And after his comments yesterday I just don’t see Michael Jordan voting to keep Sterling around.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    Probably the most significant thing they could do to appear to be doing something without actually doing something.

    The explanations I’ve heard so far for why Mr. Sterling won’t lose his franchise are explanatory without being exculpatory.

    Why isn’t the NBA itself coming in for more criticism?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. Matt Bernius says:

    @anjin-san:
    But this is a CLEAR violation of his 1st Amendment rights to speak his mind… not to mention own an NBA team!

    Beyond that, as so often, everything @Dave Schuler wrote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Ron Beasley says:

    Perhaps some Seattle billionaire can buy the team and we can have the Supper Sonics again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. David in KC says:

    @Ron Beasley: Mmmmm, supper.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. pylon says:

    Cuban has now endorsed the league’s actions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. bill says:

    i see many lawyers getting richer during the endless appeals/counter-suit process. if he weren’t such a senile old guy he’d just sell the team quickly at a discount.
    @Ron Beasley: will seattle build them a nice arena on the taxpayers dole?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  11. bill says:

    @pylon:

    “If it’s about racism and we’re ready to kick people out of the league, OK? Then what about homophobia? What about somebody who doesn’t like a particular religion? What about somebody who’s anti-Semitic? What about a xenophobe?”

    same guy!?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Tyrell says:

    @stonetools: Another week, another person making rude, nutcase statements resulting in full blown coverage by some of the news channels.
    Thoughts: race car drivers and race car owners make statements questioning the qualifications and abilities of women race car drivers. No one says a word.
    The NBA commissioner can now concentrate on the insane price of hot dogs at the arenas. The commissioner can now take a look at the total over exposure of the NBA and its overblown self importance.
    The commissioner can take a look at the endless playoffs, which are totally eclipsed by the NHL.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  13. pylon says:
  14. Craig says:

    @Matt Bernius: No, it’s not. The 1st amendment is a check on the government, not private organizations. He has the freedom to say whatever racist thing he chooses, and his colleagues (and customers) have the right to punish him for it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. bill says:
  16. pylon says:

    @Craig: Craig, I do beleive Matt’s tongue was firmly in his cheek. I think he was citing the Palin version of the First Amendment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  17. Craig says:

    @pylon: My apologies – it’s not the first time I’d heard that sentiment today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. anjin-san says:

    My guess is that there was crazy pressure on the league office from players, coaches, & individual team management. Warriors coach Mark Jackson was telling fans to boycott the playoff that his team is in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. James Joyner says:

    @anjin-san: Well, he was only telling Clippers fans to boycott the Clippers’ home games in the series. That’s hardly a selfless act of courage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. Robert in SF says:

    Maybe I am late to the party or don’t know all of what he has been accused of…but I don’t think is right.

    All he’s done is state his personal feelings on his girlfriend and her associations. No accusations of hiring discrimination, no charges of firing or financial or HR related actions related to discrimination?

    This this is the classic “thought police” kicking in, by a private (non-governmental) organization, but still, thought police none the less. And I am not a fan of that.

    This sets a bad precedent for feelings on matters being held against you. Not his actions (like behaving badly such as waving a gun around a club, or driving drunk, or other “bad eample” standards that sports players are sometimes held to, or other activities that aren’t illegal but “set a bad eample” for kids…), but his feelings about things.

    And I mean this being directly financially punished by his business partners (or whatever this arrangement for his ownership of the team), not being shunned, or having trouble recruiting employees, or other “free-market” punishments that come from fewer people wanting to associate with you…

    I am not as articulate about what I mean as I would like, but I think you get the point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  21. Nikki says:

    @Robert in SF: As the NBA commissioner told the Fox News reporter, doesn’t matter how they got there, his private statements are now public, so the NBA has to deal with them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  22. dazedandconfused says:

    @Robert in SF:

    I see the point, but bear in mind this is the entertainment industry. Show business.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    This whole incident should be a HUGE black eye to the NAACP, and strip them of their unjustified moral standing.

    What Sterling is being punished for are his private thoughts, illegally recorded and released. There is no actual discrimination or anything else even slightly illegal in his words. It’s bigotry, rank and ugly bigotry, but there’s no law against it.

    But for years and years, his did practice discrimination, as proven time and again in court. His racism was much like Bob Filner’s sexual predations on women — an open secret that no one talked about. He was a racist bastard, the kind of bastard the NAACP should have gone after full-throated.

    Instead, they let themselves be bought off with free tickets. They didn’t just turn a blind eye to his actions, though — they actively whitewashed (not quite certain if that qualifies as a pun or inappropriate, but it fits) his racist actions by giving him a “Lifetime Achievement” award — and were on the verge of giving him a second when this broke.

    The real disgrace here isn’t that Sterling finally got exposed. It’s that the local NAACP covered for him, and so cheaply.

    (I almost threw in a metaphor for how the local NAACP acted, but couldn’t decide between a “selling indulgences” reference or a prostitution reference was more appropriate — they both fit so well. So I punted and put both here.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  24. Jr says:

    @Robert in SF: Anyone who has followed the NBA knows Sterling has a lengthy history of racism. The Elgin Baylor lawsuit, the comments to Daniel Manning in 1988, the DOJ lawsuit on discrimination. So this isn’t a simple one-time thing, the league should have pushed him out 20 years ago.

    On top of that, this isn’t a new precedent. Companies and corporations have ousted people before whom have damaged their brand. Sterling had become a liability to the NBA and their image and was clearly hurting revenue(sponsors are starting drop like flies for the Clippers). And the players and coaches were already thinking about boycotting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  25. Tony W says:

    If we keep this up only Democrats will own sports teams. Is that really what anybody wants?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Jr: On top of that, this isn’t a new precedent. Companies and corporations have ousted people before whom have damaged their brand. Sterling had become a liability to the NBA and their image and was clearly hurting revenue(sponsors are starting drop like flies for the Clippers). And the players and coaches were already thinking about boycotting.

    Here’s the problem: he isn’t an employee of the Clippers, he’s the owner. This isn’t a matter of taking away his job, but his property. That’s a huge difference.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  27. James Pearce says:

    Wow, that was fast. The tape blew up, what, on Saturday, and less than a week later, Sterling is banned for life and is about to lose his franchise? No doubt a strong response was warranted, but it all seems a bit hasty.

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    This isn’t a matter of taking away his job, but his property. That’s a huge difference.

    Please…..this isn’t the first time a man’s business partners forced him out, and it won’t be the last.

    Spare the tears. Sterling will get a windfall when he sells the team, more than enough to fund the lawsuits until his 90th birthday.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  28. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @James Pearce: Please…..this isn’t the first time a man’s business partners forced him out, and it won’t be the last.

    Spare the tears. Sterling will get a windfall when he sells the team, more than enough to fund the lawsuits until his 90th birthday.

    Dumbass, I wasn’t talking about how bad a thing it was, but how legally tough it will be.

    And I like how you’re giving the LA NAACP such a pass… kind of like how they gave Sterling a pass. What was your price, or is this a freebie?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  29. James Pearce says:

    @Tillman:

    I’ll be keeping close watch to see if Sullivan finds this comparable to Brendan Eich’s ousting.

    Ha! I wouldn’t count on it. Sullivan on Eich was Poseur Sully. He’ll back up Eich, and then a few days later call for Jo Becker’s book to “be withdrawn” because he disagrees with its premise.

    If there’s one thing Sullivan can’t stand, it’s the “gay left.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And I like how you’re giving the LA NAACP such a pass… kind of like how they gave Sterling a pass. What was your price, or is this a freebie?

    Sorry, Jenos, I didn’t get the Minitrue memo that called for a Two Minutes Hate against the NAACP because Donald Sterling was caught on tape saying racist stuff.

    (I wonder what axes I can grind on this one….maybe the NBA should use this opportunity to get Blake Griffin to stop flopping. What, Commissioner Silver, you can force a guy to sell his team but you can’t get Blake Griffin to stop flopping???)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  31. al-Ameda says:

    @Robert in SF:

    This this is the classic “thought police” kicking in, by a private (non-governmental) organization, but still, thought police none the less. And I am not a fan of that.

    This is a classic business decision.
    This is not the thought police in action, this is the business police. The NBA is a multi-billion dollar business, that had it’s image called into question by the words of a billionaire franchise owner.

    Consider that Donald Sterling made comments (how those comments came to light is not important here) that alienated a minimum of 80% of the employees of the business, as well as millions of fans and hundreds of sponsoring companies, therefore it is perfectly understandable that the Commissioner of the business took decisive action to sanction and fine Donald Sterling. Frankly, from a pure business standpoint I do not see where Adam Silver had any other choice in his actions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @James Pearce: Do you even READ the stories, Jimmy?

    Sterling had a long, legally-established history of racist discrimination, and the LA NAACP still gave him a “Lifetime Achievement” Award, and was only days of giving him a second one when the illegally-taped conversations came out. They were cool with him treating minorities like scum for years, as long as he paid off the LA NAACP. It was only these tapes — where he merely expressed his opinions, not took any actions — that he suddenly became toxic.

    That’s a new definition for “thought police” — they don’t care what you DO, only what you SAY.

    As long as the checks keep clearing, of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  33. Robert in SF says:

    @al-Ameda:

    This is a classic business decision.
    This is not the thought police in action, this is the business police.

    The statements I saw (again, limited exposure alert!) was that he was being punished for his beliefs, his feelings, his thoughts however outwardly expressed, but still just his thoughts on a matter.

    I use the term “thought police” to indicate that a person was being punished (legally or in business) for their beliefs not their actions.

    I am not making any silly Palin-esque claims, of course, about first amendment protections of course, but still this is about how we as a society say that it’s OK to punish people for their beliefs, opinions, thoughts, and now we just need to decide where to draw the line?

    Should we allow hiring and firing for political positions (not active campaigning or lobbying, etc.?
    Not should it be legal, but should we as a civilized society allow, endorse, encourage that kind of option.

    I don’t like it… I am not a fan of slippery slope arguments, so I won’t make any more of them…I just think if there was some racist/bigoted/prejudices/discriminatory actions available to blame, they should have done that…not just that he asked his girlfriend not to associate or bring black people out in public.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Robert in SF: The really appalling thing is that there were plenty of actions Sterling took that were quite worthy of outrage, but he managed to buy off (and cheaply!) those who would normally be expressing that outrage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. Jr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Except he is also one of the 30 owners who signed a contract and if he violated the terms of the contract/NBA constitution then the league has every right to vote him out. This is no different from a person starting a Taco Bell franchise and violating their contract and having Taco Bell corporation strip them of their franchise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  36. anjin-san says:

    Robert in SF

    The statements I saw (again, limited exposure alert!) was that he was being punished for his beliefs, his feelings, his thoughts however outwardly expressed, but still just his thoughts on a matter.

    Sterling became a vast liability for the NBA, so the NBA removed him. It’s not complicated.

    Fortune 500 companies regularly remind their employees that what they say and do can potentially reflect negatively on the company, and if that should happen, there will be consequences.

    Much of the hand wringing I am seeing on the right has an undertone of “rich white guys should not be bothered with consequences”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  37. Matt Bernius says:

    @Jenos,

    While I don’t necessarily agree with the end result of your conclusion, I do agree with the following statements (and so apparently does Kareem Abdul Jabbar).

    @Robert in SF: The really appalling thing is that there were plenty of actions Sterling took that were quite worthy of outrage, but he managed to buy off (and cheaply!) those who would normally be expressing that outrage.

    The fact that given his long history of racist/bigoted *actions*, it took these *words* to push things over the edge really should stop and give all parties involved pause.

    And yes, the *LA Chapter* of the NAACP really does need to examine it’s action and the methodology it follows for handing out “awards.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  38. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Nice try, Jenos. I mean, that’s what it is, right? You’re trying out new material, like a comedian dropping in for a quick set or a singer-songwriter stopping by the coffee shop. The joke/song isn’t quite polished yet, but you want to see how it flies in front of a live audience.

    See if you can get this: the NAACP award isn’t the story here. It will never be the story. In fact, it doesn’t even matter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  39. Jr says:

    Yeah, the LA chapter of the NAACP needs to be looked into, but that isn’t the story here. The story is how the other 29 owners in the NBA didn’t do anything about this for the last 30 years. The DOJ settlement should have been what pushed him out, instead the league gives him Chris Paul.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @James Pearce: See if you can get this: the NAACP award isn’t the story here.

    Oh, of course it will never be the story here. There’s nothing tying Sterling to the GOP or the Tea Party, so it’s almost surprising that it’s getting as much coverage here as it’s getting.

    I’m just gonna ask you one little favor, Jimmy: please remember this the next time someone cites the NAACP or the SPLC as some overarching moral authority and arbiter of Right and Wrong. ‘Cuz they’ve forfeited that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  41. anjin-san says:

    There’s nothing tying Sterling to the GOP

    Well aside from being a registered Republican, that is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  42. Pete S says:

    I hate to say it but I think Jenos is sort of right. The NAACP is not the biggest part of this story, but it is relevant. A lot of commenters including Kareem abdul-Jabbar (quoted by James in another post) seem to be outraged that the NBA owners did not punish Sterling earlier. But how could they punish him for being a racist when the NAACP gave him an award in 2009 and were about to do so again in a few days? Those awards gave Sterling a lot of cover for the awful things he was doing.
    But this was not a rush to judgment. According to Silver, Sterling admitted he was the speaker. The league seemed to be facing a player’s strike in the playoffs, and the team had lost pretty much all of their sponsors. The forced sale may not even stick but he had to do something quickly to stop the bleeding.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  43. anjin-san says:

    @ Pete S

    A rich, powerful man was able to co-opt people into providing cover for him. I don’t see that as major news.

    Personally, I think the NAACP’s days of being a vital, relevant part of the battle for civil rights passed decades ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  44. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    From Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the Board of Directors of the NAACP:

    Our NAACP chapter in L.A. is not blameless. Because of Sterling’s large donations to local charities, including the NAACP, they overlooked his worse than checkered history on race issues and gave him a lifetime achievement award in 2009 — and were about to honor him with a humanitarian award before his racist recording surfaced.

    The National NAACP and all of our affiliates must be more discerning in our awarding of honors, which should be for true achievements in advancing racial equality. We are developing guidelines for our units to help them in their award selection process. We must not be seduced by mere financial support.

    Shorter Brock: they were bought off into betraying their core principles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  45. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    ‘Cuz they’ve forfeited that.

    Because they gave a “lifetime achievement” award (aka the most meaningless, arbitrary, kiss-assy award one can possibly give) to the wrong dude?

    That’s….and I’m sorry to be so blunt…..stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  46. grumpy realist says:

    @Robert in SF: Take what Sterling said, replace the comments about “blacks” with comments about “Jews”–do you think that anyone would say “hey, he’s only saying it; there’s no evidence the guy’s in in fact anti-Semitic”? Heck no–the cannons would be rolling out after the first utterance.

    (I in fact wonder if one of the reasons people gave Sterling a pass for so long was because he was Jewish and we all know therefore they can’t be racist, right?)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  47. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: It will not be “legally tough” at all. When Stirling bought the franchise, he assented to abiding by the rules of the club. If the NBA decides that according to club rules they don’t want him any more and are kicking him out, he has no legal leg to stand on.

    As others have commented, it’s sort of like fixed arbitration clauses. The NBA’s decision is seen something like that. Courts are really reluctant to go back and give the plaintiff a second bite at the apple.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  48. anjin-san says:

    @ James Pearce

    No doubt Jenos thinks his NAACP angle is a real gotcha.

    Just like he thought his “George Zimmermann is a stand up guy who did nothing wrong and had his life ruined by the real racists” thing was a real gotcha.

    Watching him try and distance himself from Zimmermann after singing hosannas about him for months was mildly entertaining.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  49. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    On the NAACP —

    Oh, of course it will never be the story here. There’s nothing tying Sterling to the GOP or the Tea Party, so it’s almost surprising that it’s getting as much coverage here as it’s getting.

    Are you saying that Sterling should not be fined banned for his remarks because the NAACP was prepared to honor Sterling?

    I’m pretty sure that under normal business circumstances making remarks that alienate 80% of your employees, many sponsors, as well as millions of paying fans – would call for the kind of actions that Commissioner Silver took.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  50. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Are you saying that Sterling should not be fined banned for his remarks because the NAACP was prepared to honor Sterling?

    I’m saying that the NBA and the NAACP were fine with Sterling’s discriminatory actions for years, when they had far more justification for taking action against him. To go after him now, for his words spoken in private, is rankly hypocritical.

    @grumpy realist: It will not be “legally tough” at all. When Stirling bought the franchise, he assented to abiding by the rules of the club. If the NBA decides that according to club rules they don’t want him any more and are kicking him out, he has no legal leg to stand on.

    If there are rules in the NBA that can coerce an owner to sell his franchise against his will, then the NBA has that right. But if there aren’t explicit terms that say so, then we have a private citizen being deprived of his property for words spoken in private, then I got a problem with that. And so should anyone else.

    @anjin-san: Just like he thought his “George Zimmermann is a stand up guy who did nothing wrong and had his life ruined by the real racists” thing was a real gotcha.

    Oh, bullshit. Never said any such thing. At least not the first part. The second part has a certain level of accuracy — quite an accomplishment for you.

    Under our Constitution, even scumbags have rights. This latest tactic of the left — announce that so-and-so is a racist, and then anything is fair game — is pretty reprehensible. Kind of reminds me of Scientology and its treatment of its foes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  51. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    Oh, bullshit. Never said any such thing. At least not the first part.

    Sure you did. But its understandable that you want to pretend otherwise.

    Sorry, but your “I love George” period is pretty fresh in people’s minds. You were obsessed with the guy for months.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. anjin-san says:

    Under our Constitution, even scumbags have rights.

    I will stand by for you to detail out one’s Constitutional right to own an NBA team.

    I’ve done some work in major league sports. “Don’t piss off the league office” is a mission critical item.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  53. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’m saying that the NBA and the NAACP were fine with Sterling’s discriminatory actions for years, when they had far more justification for taking action against him. To go after him now, for his words spoken in private, is rankly hypocritical.

    (1) Do you believe that because the NBA was remiss in sanctioning Sterling years ago, that the NBA should not have done anything now?

    (2) This decision was, from a business standpoint, an obvious one that had to be made. Do you agree or disagree?

    Why, in this case, you’re obsessed with the NAACP is beyond me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: 1) No, but they really ought to be honest — they aren’t doing it out of principle. They’re doing it because he’s now toxic to the public.

    2) Of course I agree. What I’m wondering about is if the NBA has the legal right to strip him of his property. If they don’t have such a clause, then they need to revoke the organization’s membership, and punish the entire organization by suspending it as long as it’s owned by him.

    But I’m no expert. If the NBA has that kind of power (and I find myself thinking of Home Owner Associations and Condo Associations, which are granted power that transcend the individual’s rights as a property owner), then they have every right to exercise it.

    But to get so bent out of shape over what the guy said in private when he did far, far worse things in public, and was legally found to have done them, is pretty rankly hypocritical. They ought to just own it and say “we should have gotten rid of him years ago, but we’re finally doing the right thing now.”

    And as for the NAACP? If you don’t see the sheer schadenfreude in how they were more than willing to let them be bought off for a guy who was found to have committed rank acts of racism, time and time again, in court cases, then you need to have your blood tested — you’re seriously irony-deficient.

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  55. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Dude, once this guy’s comments hit the bright lights it made absolutely no damn difference whether he had said them privately to one other person or in front of a stadium of 50,000 people. The fact was, the statements were out there, recorded on tape. The NBA had to do something.

    Also don’t ever confuse what your rights are under law with what happens in the court of public opinion.

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  56. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @grumpy realist: Oh, absolutely, the NBA had to act now. I think they should have acted a hell of a lot sooner.

    Also don’t ever confuse what your rights are under law with what happens in the court of public opinion.

    Oh, we’re learning that. Apparently the worst crime before that court is to be judged a bigot of some sort, the penalty is essentially “death,” and there is no appealing.

    We saw that with Brendan Eich, we saw that attempted with Chick-Fil-A, we saw that with that Nevada rancher, we saw that with George Zimmerman…

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  57. anjin-san says:

    Two days after he called the NAACP a racist organization on Twitter, Utah state Rep. David Lifferth (R) issued a surprisingly thorough and candid apology. While arguing that he had made a joke in “poor taste,” he stated unequivocally: “I have learned a lot in the past few days. The NAACP is not a racist organization. My logic was flawed.

    “I apologize for my insensitive words and hope that people can find it in their hearts to forgive a naïve person that truly does love and care for people of all races and nationalities,” Lifferth wrote in a statement posted on his website. “I have deleted my tweets and hope that they no longer hurt anyone’s feelings.”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/david-lifferth-naacp-racist-apology

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