We got what we wanted and he got what he deserved. Adam Silver had possible his defining moment very early into his career as NBA commissioner suspending L.A. Clippers owner for life and fining him 2.5 million dollars, the maximum amount allowed by the NBA owners agreement, and donating that money to charities that fight racism. This came a few days after the racist remarks made by Sterling in a private conversation were released to the media by his girlfriend/archivist V. Stiviano. Along with the fine and suspension Adam Silver also said he would recommend that the NBA Board of Governors move to force Sterling to sell the team in which two thirds of the owners would have to vote yes on.
Silver handled this situation as well as he could and did what the people, players and fans wanted. He stood up and made his mark clear that racism of any kind will not be tolerated in his league. This punishment may have been a little harsh and legally could cause some problems since it was based off of a private conversation the Sterling had and there is no doubt that Sterling will fight back. Again Sterling has done this before. Look back at the mind 1980s when sterling moved the team from San Diego to Los Angeles he did so unilaterally in response the NBA tried to fine him 25 million dollars and Sterling countered by suing them for 100 million dollars.
This may be the just the begging of the Sterling saga but it’s a good start for Silver. He did what he needed to do and I completely agree and believe that his punishment is fair. It’s 2014 there is no place for racism anywhere especially in today’s sports.
According to The Huffington Post 66 percent of Americans supported fine and 71 percent supported the suspension of Sterling. A forced sale was supported by only 47 percent of Americans. Thirty-one percent opposed the idea, and 22 percent said they weren’t sure. When breaking this staticatic down it showed that democrats supported a forced sale by 68 percent to 16 percent, and independents were also more likely to support the idea, by 42 percent to 34 percent. Republicans, on the other hand, were more likely to oppose it, by 48 percent to 26 percent.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar asked why Sterling’s actions have been tolerated for the last 30 years. He thought that he should have been gone a long time ago. “Even people in the Clippers corporate structure are happy that Mr. Sterling can no longer dictate how the franchise is run, and there’s light now at the end of the tunnel” said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
It’ll be interesting to watch the rest of this story play out. It’s apparent that the players of now and then want Sterling out of the league and most coaches and hopefully owners will want him gone and will get him gone, but it won’t be easy. The only thing that Sterling wants is to own the Clippers he has made enough money to last him five lifetime and support a small countries economy the only thing he still wants in the world is the fame and prestige that comes with being an owner of a major professional sports team in Los Angeles
I predict a long and unnecessarily painful process for the NBA and Sterling trying to completely resolve this problem but I hope the sake of humanity and the NBA that the owners find a way to get Sterling out of the owner’s box and make him give up those court side seats. But how will take over as of now it’s looking like Magic Johnson ironically a Laker great and one target of Sterling’s remarks will be the one to take over and there will be another minority owner in the NBA.