What to Do When You Don’t Agree with Your Employer’s Personal Beliefs?

 

LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling was allegedly recorded making racist comments to his girlfriend, asking her not to bring black men to games or post pictures of herself with black men (she had posted a picture of herself with Magic Johnson).

This is a like a much more extreme version of the Brandon Eich affair, where in this case the employer’s personal beliefs are universally viewed as reprehensible.

Here is the best studio show in all of sports having a fascinating discussion about the issue:

How would you handle this as an employee (especially as a black employee) of Donald Sterling?

There are 29 comments.

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  1. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist
    @SouthernPessimist

    I agree that the TNT halftime show is the best studio sports show although it was better when it was just Ernie, Kenny and Chuck. Unless the owner’s opinion is something you confront on a frequent basis, you ignore it. I worked once in a small radiology practice with someone who I consider evil. I left that practice as soon as I figured that out.

    • #1
  2. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist
    @SouthernPessimist

    It may be TMI but let me elaborate. I left the practice of pediatrics with reluctance back when physicians were allowed to retrain in different fields. I felt enormous guilt over leaving a profession I loved. I couldn’t pay my bills at the end of the month and I told myself that I was not on a mission from God. After I became a radiologist and ended up with a managing partner, of an extremely lucrative practice, who was evil, I felt like I had sold my soul to the Devil. I am over that now but it was stressful at the time.

    • #2
  3. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Depends, if he’s a leftist, no big deal. In fact, give him a show on MSNBC.

    If he’s a conservative, he should be hung by the neck until almost dead, taken down and drawn, his entrails burnt before him, and quartered.

    • #3
  4. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    Sterling should have been thrown out of the league when he settled his housing discrimination lawsuit. That and being a horrible owner who never really cared about fielding a competitive team until the last couple of years.  I do believe he’s made a few racist statements in the past but  it’s a bit disturbing he’s being investigated for a private conversation.

    • #4
  5. Covert Conservative Member
    Covert Conservative
    @

    With all due respect, this is nothing like the Brandon Eich situation. If you don’t agree with your employer’s personal beliefs, whether you stay or go is your decision.  For Brandon Eich, it was a case of  his employer not tolerating his personal beliefs, and the choice to stay was taken away from him.

    • #5
  6. user_11047 Inactive
    user_11047
    @barbaralydick

    This is different from Brandon Eich’s situation, as noted by Covert Conservative. In Sterling’s case, a private conversation was recorded and made public. As reprehensible as that jackass’s comments were, it should concern all of us for potentially being on the wrong side of the Thought Police. Private conversations – overheard or covertly taped – are no longer considered to be private. (And where will the  line be drawn tomorrow on content?)

    For this offence solely, the desired consequences are troublesome. Troublesome too is that private property (ownership) is involved.  

    However, that he has made other public statements and settled a housing discrimination suit shows a pattern of racism and now in too many people’s minds it will depend whether he is considered to be a progressive (and very possibly after a period of time be forgiven as others have been) or a conservative (and not).

    • #6
  7. user_928618 Inactive
    user_928618
    @JimLion

    I used to be an LA Clippers fan. Sterling has ruined it for me. The real issue here isn’t one guy making comments that mark him as an anachronism that millions will now hold in contempt. It’s about the future. For my part, I’m saddened today, but I don’t want to punish him. I want to pray for him.

    • #7
  8. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    If you don’t want to be associated with black people, maybe the NBA is not the place for you.

    • #8
  9. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    This situation makes me crazy.

    Sterling is clearly a scumbag.

    SO WHAT?!

    He bought the team. He owns the team. Why does having hateful opinions mean that he should be deprived of his property?

    Where in our legal code does it say that anyone who has an odious opinion can be robbed in broad daylight?

    • #9
  10. user_583504 Inactive
    user_583504
    @StevenRosenbaum

    A conundrum to be sure. We are now back to the tired old chat about “Who can say what?” Jeremiah Wright, Al Sharpton, et al are accepted; Sterling, Bundy, etc. are teated like toxic waste. At what point will we, as a society, accept the simple fact that people believe in questionable ideologies and say stupid things. Is Sterling’s racist rant any less tolerable than a Farrakhan speech? So… “What to Do When You Don’t Agree with Your Employer’s Personal Beliefs?” You sit down. You weigh the pros and cons of your employment versus the impact on your personal beliefs and make a decision.

    • #10
  11. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    If he was giving orders to his girlfriend SHE needs to find a new boyfriend, end of story.

    • #11
  12. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Most large corporations in the US discriminate on the basis of race and sex (in the name of “diversity”). I work for one of those corporations, and am required to participate in this race and sex discrimination when I hire vendors (professional service). A vendor owned by white males is hired only if the vendor offers something significant over vendors owned by “minorities” or women (significantly lower price, unique capabilities, etc.). I implement this discrimination policy that I consider wrong because I know that almost any other employer I might work for does the same. I do on occasion mention to a rejected white male vendor that if it could find a way to become “minority” or women owned, I could reconsider them. I also on occasion remind my boss that we are engaging in race and sex discrimination. He squirms for a while and then changes the subject. (An irony I note is that one of my vendors is a white self-proclaimed hillbilly from Appalachia who would bring more actual diversity of thought to corporate headquarters than all the rainbow of skin color they currently have there.)

    • #12
  13. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Turns out he is a Democrat and contributor to lefty causes.

    http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/liberal-democrat-donald-sterling-caught.html

    MSNBC, make room for Sterling.

    • #13
  14. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Knock, knock.
    Who’s there?
    Clive Bundy.
    Clive Bundy who?
    Thank you Don Sterling.

    Hah, just kidding. Sterling is a donor to Democrats. This story will disappear without a trace by this time next week.

    • #14
  15. Vice-Potentate Inactive
    Vice-Potentate
    @VicePotentate

    iWc:

    This situation makes me crazy.

    Sterling is clearly a scumbag.

    SO WHAT?!

    He bought the team. He owns the team. Why does having hateful opinions mean that he should be deprived of his property?

    Where in our legal code does it say that anyone who has an odious opinion can be robbed in broad daylight?

    Ownership in the NBA is a granted fiefdom that has little to do with property ownership or the free market. He was granted a dual superstar franchise by direct league action. Pretending like he owns a team and therefore can do whatever he wants with it is a farce. NBA teams are basically public funded institutions in locally funded government granted monopoly positions. They are subject to both collective bargaining and league oriented owner voting control because of their cartel status. Donald Sterling would not be a victim of “theft” if his estate were taken away.

    Chances are he’s going to get bought out anyway.

    • #15
  16. user_138562 Moderator
    user_138562
    @RandyWeivoda

    OkieSailor:

    If he was giving orders to his girlfriend SHE needs to find a new boyfriend, end of story.

     You mean one who isn’t old enough to be her grandfather? 

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    What to Do When You Don’t Agree with Your Employer’s Personal Beliefs?

    Spend his money on stuff he wouldn’t approve of.

    • #17
  18. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Are we talking about the same guy with 12 black guys on his 14 man roster, of whom he has invested $64M?

    • #18
  19. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Sports team are franchises and subject to the rules of the franchiser.

    • #19
  20. user_163490 Inactive
    user_163490
    @roughdraught

    As a black employee…I would want to know 2 things: was the African American light skinned and did he have a “negro” dialect. I take my orders from the empty chair.

    • #20
  21. FightinInPhilly Coolidge
    FightinInPhilly
    @FightinInPhilly

    As Charles Barkley points out “this is a black league”. So the question is not whether a private citizen can have personal opinions, but rather if your league (which is entirely constructed to  make money) can ignore the perception that a highly influential member of the club harbors the most abhorrent opinions about his employees who are admired by 99% of their customers and is tolerated by the other 29 owners. All the other franchises are impacted.

    • #21
  22. user_7131 Contributor
    user_7131
    @TommyDeSeno

    I can’t help but wonder if there is something else going on in that conversation.  I suspect there are facts that may put his statement in a different light.  A revealed context.

    • #22
  23. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    I’ve watched this play out before. Donald Sterling is Marge Schott in reverse drag.

    • #23
  24. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    I don’t know what to say about this. (So you know I’m going to try and say something!) I’m black, so how would I feel if I heard the main  boss of a company I work for making those statements? I doubt I’d pack up and leave. It really will depend on my personal interactions with the boss and how much direct influence they have over me. If I think the boss would, or could, one day just fire every black employee, I’d probably leave. If I thought the boss just had these sad views, but wasn’t otherwise attempting to sabotage the careers of their black employees, I’d probably stay. 

    I don’t know much about how Sterling interacts with his players, or what type of environment the Clippers organization is, but it seems like he’s the outlier and the rest of the place isn’t a hotbed of racism. (Otherwise I assume that I would’ve heard more about the Clippers by now.) I wouldn’t call for any boycotts or fines though.

    • #24
  25. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    I have lost several gigs because I made the mistake of letting my conservative leanings known.  I now keep my head down, my mouth shut and do my job.  Any statement made in public that does not conform to liberal dogma can get you fired.  Any statement made that a protected minority can get offended by can get you fired.  That is just how the world works now.  Are you guys just figuring this stuff out?

    • #25
  26. kmtanner Inactive
    kmtanner
    @kmtanner

    Why compare this to some other case? Does it help anyone?

    • #26
  27. CuriousKevmo Member
    CuriousKevmo
    @CuriousKevmo

    OkieSailor:

    If he was giving orders to his girlfriend SHE needs to find a new boyfriend, end of story.

     Why?  She has access to a lavish life style, and apparently can sleep with whomever she wants.  She found herself a sugar daddy without all the annoying constraints like monogamy and responsibility.

    • #27
  28. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    Tommy De Seno:

    I can’t help but wonder if there is something else going on in that conversation. I suspect there are facts that may put his statement in a different light.

    Well a more sordid light.

    Apparently Steerling, who just turned 80 this weekend by the way (Happy Birthday!), was keeping his “girlfriend” in quite the lavish lifestyle to the tune of several million dollars. Steerling’s wife rather strongly objected to this and is suing her in an attempt to recover “communal property”. At some time in the past Steerling requested his gal, V. Stiviano, to record all his conversations with her as he kept forgetting previous discussions. Apparently she has been stockpiling hundreds of hours of this stuff and wishes the lawsuit to vanish or more is coming.

    If you have the patience to listen closely, I wouldn’t bother if I was you, it seems clear V. is baiting him trying to pull out some of his uglier opinions, I suppose the possibilities for blackmail occurred to one of her “profession” rather quickly. It’s a classic May-December Romance.

    Side note, Steerling was up to receive a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP.

    • #28
  29. flownover Inactive
    flownover
    @flownover

    The average NBA player gets $ 5,200,000.00 .
    Now you can complain all day about who is signing your checks, but do you want those checks to quit coming ? 
    If they force Sterling to sell the team ( which he bought for $12 million), he could easily pocket $ 700 million. Clippers are worth alot more than Sacramento which sold for over $500mm .
    Sterling is 80 years old, just had a tough breakup with his girlfriend, but his wife still takes care of him. What do you think will happen ??? Do the math. Think of the money he’ll save on hair color ..

    • #29

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