It’s really too bad Donald Sterling and a Philistine named Samson couldn’t have talked, but they were separated by hundreds of years. Samson and Delilah could have been the modern day Donald and Vanessa. How ironic that both of these powerful men were brought crashing down by women who happened to be outside of their own ethnicity. Today NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that Sterling is banned from basketball “for life.”
This all stems from a leaked recording, which no one admits to leaking, of an argument between married Sterling, 80, and his lady friend Vanessa Stiviano, 38, on April 7th. Sterling was disappointed and embarrassed that people had called him regarding a picture Stiviano had posted of herself, basketball legend Magic Johnson, and another woman on Instagram. The three were fully clothed and innocently smiling at the camera. But what infuriated Sterling was that Stiviano had posed with a black man. During the phone conversation, Stiviano calmly led Sterling down a yellow brick road of admitting he sees blacks as the “enemy” and asking Vanessa not to bring them to his games.
Of course the late night talk show hosts were all over it. Last night Jimmy Fallon said that even Mel Gibson told Sterling, “hey man, that’s just going too far.” The ban for life means that Sterling can no longer have an active role in the leadership of the Los Angeles Clippers or any NBA team ever again. In addition to the ban, Silver announced that the commission has fined Sterling $2.5 million.
As of right now, Sterling still retains ownership of the Clippers, but it has been reduced to a mere ceremonial title. He cannot make any money or brand affecting decisions regarding the team. But the story doesn’t end there. It takes a two-thirds majority of all of the NBA team owners to vote out another owner. Commissioner Silver is in talks with the other owners at this time to see if they want to move in that direction.