After leaked audio tapes from TMZ Sports and Deadspin on April 25, 2014 Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is under fire for spewing racist comments displaying nothing short of a plantation mentality in 2014, the real life version of 2012 film Django Unchained character Calvin Candle. The remarks are blatantly racist and vile especially coming from an owner of a team where the majority of the roster, Head Coach and 75-percent of the league are black.
Despite how shady of a person V.Stiviano appears. Even if Sterling chooses to state that the sound bite has not been authenticated and was unscrupulously obtained you cannot un-ring the bell. It appears that Sterling's girlfriend V.Stiviano set him up and he fell into the trap.
The knowledge that the L. A. chapter of the NAACP accepted multiple grants from the Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation and gave Sterling a "Lifetime" achievement award is disturbing. The fact that the organization was on the verge of awarding Sterling with another is alarmingly embarrassing especially when you consider that the organization had full knowledge of Sterling being a slum lord.
There was no outrage or action from the NBA or NAACP when Sterling forced to pay a staggering $3 million for denying housing to blacks. Sterling by deeds not words has made his feelings clear. The fact of the matter is that this is a black-eye for the NBA taking away from arguably the most entertaining NBA Playoffs first round, but all the recent outrage should have happened when it first came to light.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who has been on the job since February 1st, inherited this mess, although the NBA and David Stern validated Donald Sterling with the Chris Paul trade. This is Adam Silver's first big issue as NBA Commissioner, but David Stern deserves some blame in the Donald Sterling issue. David Stern was never afraid to discipline other NBA owners.
Stern suspended Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor for a year and fined him $1 million for signing free-agent player Joe Smith to an illegal secret contract. In 2007, Stern fined the late great Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, suspended him for two games with a $25,000 for a misdemeanor drunk driving charge. Stern has fined Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner, nearly $2 million, over the years for confronting and criticizing league officials.
Yet with overwhelming evidence of Sterling's' deeds Stern never fined or suspended the Clippers owner let alone led a charge for the league to remove the cancer known as Donald Sterling. For years, under David Stern's watch, Sterling was able to dodge racist allegations.It has been known and well documented for 30-years that Sterling was a bully, slum lord and racist.
As despicable, disheartening and abhorrent as Sterling's deeds have been this is an owners' problem and the owners must act because it affects everyone associated with the NBA in the past, present and future. Donald Sterling has been a long-time thorn in the NBA's side. The other NBA owners have wanted Sterling out going back to 1984 when Sterling moved the Clippers to Los Angeles after six seasons in San Diego against the NBA and other NBA owners' wishes.
Sterling received a $25 million fine from the NBA before countersuing and getting the penalty drastically reduced. In fairness perhaps Stern felt that he would not have the support of the other owners' to remove Sterling. Sterling, an attorney is a skilled and experienced litigator that loves to fight and has spent the majority of his adult life in a court room will find fighting the NBA this time much more difficult when tangling with the NBA everything is in arbitration and NOT litigation.
After the comments aired Clippers sponsors such as State Farm, CarMax, Kia and Virgin America reportedly already have yanked their team sponsorship deals (but not those with individual Clippers players). This is an issue of respect. What other race calls themselves a derogatory name face-to-face on a daily basis? Uses the same derogatory name in Hip Hop music? What race disrespects their women and calls them derogatory names on a daily basis?
If we as black people are to demand our respect we have to step our game up, respect ourselves, be respectful of others and teach it to our children and urge members of our community to do the same. In a defining moment for Adam Silver today, letting everyone know that he is not David Stern, after the league's investigation with the support of the other 29 owners Silver has banned Donald T. Sterling for life from the NBA and any NBA business and fined him $2.5 million for his comments.
Silver is also in the process of urging 75-percent of the owners to force Sterling to sell the team. The investigation included an interview with Donald Sterling who came clean and stated what we all knew that it was his voice on the recordings. Hopefully, commissioner Silver's quick actions satisfy the NBA players, NBA coaches and NBA fans worldwide bringing some closure and proof that there is no place for racism and bigotry.
However, this is far from over. Hate the man not the team. Donald Sterling put the Los Angeles Clippers coaches and players in a precarious situation in the midst of the best season in team history during the playoffs while his team is attempting to win a championship. Hall of Fame NBA Head Coach Jack Ramsay passed away on April 28th and on a day all NBA fans could have honored the legacy, class and grace of Dr. Jack Ramsay, we have to deal with the displayed stupidity and ignorance of the verbal diarrhea of Donald Sterling instead.