On Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference to hand down a lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Silver also called on the NBA Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team. Sterling, who has owned the Clippers for nearly 30 years, had been under investigation by the NBA for alleged comments in which he repeatedly asks his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, who is both black and Mexican, why she associates with “minorities” and instructs her “not to bring [black people] to my games.”
“This has been a painful moment for all members of the NBA family,” Silver said during the press conference.
Watch highlights of the press conference below:
While Glenn has certainly never fancied himself a sports fan, he has had trouble reconciling the various calls for Sterling being forced out of the league. Now that the official opinion has been handed down, on radio this morning, Glenn explained that while Sterling is undoubtedly a “dirt bag,” the free market should have decided Sterling and the franchise’s ultimate fate.
“I watched ESPN quite a bit yesterday, and I didn't hear one single person say, ‘Can we stop a second and look at: Is this the right thing to do,’” Pat said. “It feels good [to ban him], and that's why everybody went with: ‘The guy is an A-hole.’ We all realize that. But do you take his team away because you want to show what an A-hole he is in his private life?”
Glenn took particular issue with the swiftness in which Sterling was punished. Again, while Sterling’s comments were offensive, they were made in what he believed to be a private conversation. Meanwhile, professional athletes often make headlines for engaging in violent acts towards women and other crimes, but such actions are swept under the rug. Glenn found the double standard troubling.
“Here's the two problems I have. Aren't there like rapists, killers, wife beaters, serial cheaters, guys who have fathered, you know, 40 children out of wedlock and then just bashed the woman's head into the side of the elevator,” Glenn asked. “I mean the NBA is not exactly squeaky clean, and if you're going to hold up moral turpitude, then you should hold it up for everybody.”
“I would like to see the case. I don't know, maybe there is a case to be made. But make the case to me that beating the hell out of a woman is not worse saying horrible things in private,” Stu agreed. “So if you can't make that case, then promise me in the future that every time one of these guys gets in trouble, one of your players, A, the players are all going to rally around and say they need to be eliminated from the league. And B, I want press conferences. I want everything under your power to pressure them to never be able to enter an NBA arena ever again.”
As Pat said, that will never happen because these professional sports leagues “don't treat the two instances the same way.”
While athletes, celebrities, and others took to social media in droves to commend the NBA’s decision, a few notable individuals expressed some concern over the punishment. Stu read a portion of an op-ed NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar penned for Time that by no means condones Sterling’s actions but does question the merits of the outrage.
And now the poor guy’s girlfriend (undoubtedly ex-girlfriend now) is on tape cajoling him into revealing his racism. Man, what a winding road she led him down to get all of that out. She was like a sexy nanny playing “pin the fried chicken on the Sambo.” She blindfolded him and spun him around until he was just blathering all sorts of incoherent racist sound bites that had the news media peeing themselves with glee.
They caught big game on a slow news day, so they put his head on a pike, dubbed him Lord of the Flies, and danced around him whooping.
I don’t blame them. I’m doing some whooping right now. Racists deserve to be paraded around the modern town square of the television screen so that the rest of us who believe in the American ideals of equality can be reminded that racism is still a disease that we haven’t yet licked.
What bothers me about this whole Donald Sterling affair isn’t just his racism. I’m bothered that everyone acts as if it’s a huge surprise. Now there’s all this dramatic and very public rending of clothing about whether they should keep their expensive Clippers season tickets. Really? All this other stuff I listed above has been going on for years and this ridiculous conversation with his girlfriend is what puts you over the edge? That’s the smoking gun?
Read Abdul-Jabbar’s entire article HERE.
“That's brilliant. He's right,” Glenn concluded. “It is your right to be a racist. It is your right to be a bigot. It is your right to be smart, to be enlightened… In your private life you can say whatever it is you want.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP