“Suspensions here, suspensions there, fines on fines on fines” this is what I see almost everyday when I am looking at recent sports news. Everyday some player is getting in trouble for fighting or breaking team rules or another action that the professional league does not tolerate. Players are held to high standards by their teammates, coaches, organizations, and most importantly their fans. But recently, I have been reading a lot about the trouble owners of professional sports teams are getting into and how the leagues are just giving them a slap on the wrist with a warning. How can the people who are enforcing rules on their players, themselves not get into trouble for actions they do. Everyone in professional sports has the responsibility to act in a manner that does not bring shame and trouble to the game itself. There needs to be a change in sports where commissioners need to start enforcing consequences on owners that truly resemble the act they committed. The penalty of not being able to attend a game or two needs to be thrown away and true consequences need to be administered.
Donald Sterling is a prime example of how changes need to be made against people in the public sphere of sports rather than just the players and coaches. Sterling made headlines this week when a recording came out with Sterling making racist remarks about African-Americans. He was recorded saying he does not want African-Americans at his games and other remarks stating that his African-American players are there on display like slaves were. Sterling is the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and this is not his first time in the public eye for comments he has said and actions he has done. The effect of Sterling’s comments have hit the NBA like a storm with stars such as Lebron James saying Sterling should be kicked out of ownership, Magic Johnson saying there is no room for people like Sterling in the NBA and Michael Jordan explaining his disgust for those remarks. However, Sterling is sitting on his throne thinking there is nothing that will happen because he is one of the bosses of the commissioner in a way. Nothing has been done in the past to this cocky owners who think they can not be touched. Things need to change. Sterling should be removed as owner or he will run a great organization into the ground. The Clippers who are in the midst of the NBA playoffs protested the remarks of Sterling by throwing down there warm up jerseys before the game a couple of days ago and wearing an inside out red shirt. They had no clipper logos on during warm ups to protest they remarks of their owner. Their coach Doc Rivers even stated that he is not sure if he wants to return to the team next year if this is who will be in control of the team. Oh, and by the way the Clippers only have one white player on their team in JJ Redick and reports have shown he is one of the more outraged players on the team.
Sterling is just the most recent owner to make headlines. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay of the NFL was arrested a couple of weeks ago on preliminary charges of impaired driving and possession of controlled substances. These accusations would get a player a hefty fine with most likely a suspension on top of that. But once again the owner is above all the rules. They are who controls the league, its players and its commissioner, nothing can hurt them. There have been tons and tons of cases where owners have a sense of a god-like personality and feel as if they can never get in trouble no matter what they do. This is a call for action by me and more the fans of the sports. Changes need to be made by the commissioners on the actions of the owners. It does not matter that these guys pay your checks Roger Goodell, assert that authority you use on the players on the football field or Adam Silver make a stand that you are not running the same show that David Stern ran. Make your first big decision one to remember and get Donald Sterling out of here. Owners need to be held to the same standard their players are held to. Even if they write some more checks does not mean they are any higher on the totem pole then any one else. Time to stop the hypocrisy of the owners and hold them accountable for what they do like everyone else.