News reports today indicate that Donald Sterling has given control of the Los Angeles Clippers to his ex-wife, Shelly Sterling. After his racist rants were released to the public, multiple players, sponsors, advertisers, and even President Barack Obama all characterized Sterlings ideologies as absurd. The NBA made clear they want zero association with Sterling, and that includes his wife owning 50 percent of the Clippers, which today it has been announced she is willing to sell 100 percent of the team.
After his offensive remarks on April 29, Adam Silver, NBA commissioner said Sterling will be banned for life and fined the maximum under the NBA rules, which is $2.5 million. Not only was Sterling fined and banned, the ban excludes him from stepping foot onto any place associated with the Clippers, as well as excludes him from all NBA games. The imposed violations against Sterling also force him to sell the team. After all, who wants a boss that’s contaminated with racism?
Not only did the public and sports fans unite in throwing out the racist-garbage; the Clippers and numerous individual NBA team players came together to protest against keeping racism within the sport. Apparently at game 4 during a team huddle, players wore their jersey’s inside-out to hide any association with Sterling, and later Miami Heat players continued the same protest. Without any hesitation the Clippers on April 28 changed their website logo to “We Are One” showing a solid stance against Sterlings bigotry. Furthermore, on April 29 UCLA stepped up and rejected Sterlings $3 million pledge. UCLA issued a public statement that said, “Mr. Sterling’s divisive and hurtful comments demonstrate that he does not share UCLA’s core values as a public university that fosters diversity, inclusion and respect.” UCLA returned his first payment of $425,000 and the remainder of a $3 million pledge.
Some people think Sterling’s comments have been taken out of context, but if you listen to the words and hate spewed from this man’s mouth, there is no way to hide his racism; in fact, he has a long history of being discriminatory. Sterling started his empire in real estate, and in 2003 had a housing discrimination suit brought against him, alleging he made racist comments against multiple ethnicities. The plaintiffs won millions (the actual settlement amounts are undisclosed), but lawyers fees alone were more than $4 million. Sterling’s racist allegations didn’t stop there; he has had multiple dealings in court for alleged discrimination acts. The NBA leadership have set an example, showing that racism will -- hopefully -- no longer linger within the sport.
Sterling did an exclusive interview with CNN, asking for forgiveness stating he should be “entitled to a mistake after 35 years … am I entitled to one mistake, it’s a terrible mistake and I’ll never do it again,” however, with his past discrimination lawsuits surely this isn’t his first “mistake.”
On June 3 the NBA’s board of governors will take an official vote to toss out Sterling, due to his offensive comments, according to ESPN. TMZ reported today he has given permission for his estranged wife to take care of selling 100 percent of the Clippers, on her terms, adding that Shelly Sterling currently owns 50 percent of the team. The NBA has been very clear they want -- no Sterling association whatsoever.