LEAGUE’S ACTION A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD

Donald Sterling and Erving Magic Johnson

Donald Sterling and Erving Magic Johnson

Why are you taking pictures with minorities,” Sterling allegedly said on the tape, among many other things. “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” “You can sleep with [black people],” Sterling continued. “You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that … and not to bring them to my games.

These are the statements attributed to Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Mister Sterling was speaking via telephone with his female companion V. Stiviano, in which he told her he didn’t want her to “bring black people to his games” including Magic Johnson. The owner reportedly went off after Stiviano posted an Instagram shot of herself with Johnson at a recent game (which she later deleted).

The NBA has since banned mister Sterling from having anything to do with the League including

New NBA commissioner Adam Silver

New NBA commissioner Adam Silver

his own team . In addition he has been fined 2.5 million the maximum allowed. New Commissioner Adam Silver has asked the League’s board of Governors to vote to force Mister Sterling to sell the Clippers.

Andy Roeser, president of the L.A. Clippers,  told  E! News in a statement, “We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered. We do know that the woman on the tape — who we believe released it to TMZ — is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would “get even.”

SHOULD STERLING HAVE BEEN DISCIPLINED BEFORE

Mister Sterling was sued twice by the U.S. Department of Justice for discriminatory rental practices, paying a then-record $2.73 million penalty to settle the second case. Former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor described Sterling as having a “plantation mentality” during his unsuccessful age discrimination lawsuit, recounting conversations with his former boss that were, at best, racially insensitive.

Whether mister Sterling will be forced to sell his team by the board of Governors we don’t know. Team owners are themselves largely wealthy white men who may very well share some of the same views in-artfully spilled by Donald Sterling. The tough punitive stance taken by the new Commissioner will however be a new double edged sword that will surely pierce players , coaches and others in the League as it has Sterling. No one associated with the league will be allowed to berate or disrespect others who are different. It behooves all concerned to be restrained in their glee regarding the actions of the league against mister Sterling. The same knife which sticks Sheep sticks Goats (old Jamaican saying).