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NBA bans LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life

Adam Silver
Adam Silver
Courtesy of ESPN

Justice was allegedly served.

Shortly before noon today, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver held a news conference in which he announced the league’s determination that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling who be banned for life and be forced to pay a fine of $2.5 million.

The Los Angeles Times shares this information in an article by reporter Houston Mitchell, who writes that the punishment is being meted out based on “controversial comments Sterling allegedly made about blacks.” Apparently, Mitchell didn’t pay close enough attention to Silver’s remarks, which appear in an accompanying video and specify that the voice on the tape has been confirmed to be that of Sterling. It is an allegation no longer.

As for the commissioner’s remarks, if they were meant to mollify, they succeeded by leaving no PC stone unturned. There was mention of inclusion, diversity, multiculturalism, and multiethnicity.

As for the future disposition of the team, Silver said he would urge the NBA owners and board of governors to force Sterling to sell the franchise.

If there is any unfinished business to this story, it was suggested in the reaction last night by fellow NBA team owner Mark Cuban, who suggested that banning Sterling outright might be a bridge too far. In an interview with the press, Cuban noted that Sterling’s views, while reprehensible, were not intended for public consumption. A similar observation was made here in a column yesterday. If we as a nation are going to begin attempting to home in on the innermost passions and prejudices of private citizens, where does it end? Putting it in cheekier terms, based on Attorney General Eric Holder’s public statements, is it fair to assume he wouldn’t want the country listening in on his more private thoughts?

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