Now that the Donald Sterling racism controversy is coming to a head after racist comments were made public and authenticated from a conversation with his estranged girlfriend, Vanessa Stiviano, the big question that remains is whether or not NBA players and fans should boycott the Clippers Game 5 on April 29, their first home game since Sterling’s bigoted comments enthralled the nation and world at large.
Many eyes and ears await comments from NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who is expected to give harsh punishment to Sterling during a 2 p.m. ET news conference on April 29 – one that better be good enough to satisfy the wrath of folks calling for Sterling’s ousting as an owner, a move that would set a precedence as far as NBA team owners go.
After all, controversy still exists on whether or not the recordings were made with Sterling’s knowledge. The rules in terms of basketball for situations like this differ from other industries. Within the realm of NBA owners, everything is done in arbitration, not litigation, and an ousting would require a three-fourths vote of the 30 owners.
More prominent players, meanwhile, are weighing in on the melee. Lakers star Kobe Bryant said that in light of Sterling’s tirade, the man should not continue to own the Clippers. LeBron James has mentioned that he could not play for a man like Sterling.
The thought process might be that if Sterling isn’t dealt a swift and severe enough punishment during this press conference, a boycott could swell into a reality. However, with many of the Clippers' players having waited their whole lives for an opportunity to excel within their sport – the real question is: Should the players be further punished for the actions of the team’s owner? A lot of responses issue a resounding "no" to that query, and seek out the most effective way to put enough pressure to kick out Sterling and let the true stars of the team shine brightly.