Tarnished Sterling — EJHill


The NBA acted faster than any league in history in banishing one of their own.

It took the better part of six years from the time that Major League Baseball began investigating the controversial utterings of Marge Schott until they finally succeeded in ousting her from the game. It took six months to ban her manager, Pete Rose, for gambling. The Black Sox Scandal, the case that created the modern sports commissioner, dragged on for two years.

For the NBA it took just a matter of days to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

But don’t mourn over a the perceived lack of due process. In the end, this is not a criminal law dispute. Each league has its own constitution, a basic agreement between each of the owners and the man that they collectively hire to run the league. Donald Sterling broke that contract and will pay the price, ironically just as his Clippers were becoming a better team than their building mates, the LA Lakers.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, like David Stern and Larry O’Brien before him, is a big-time Democratic donor. He is also the head of a league in which 76% of uniformed personnel is African-American. It’s playoff time and nobody’s talking about the games. He had the power and the inclination and he didn’t dither. There’s something to be said for that.

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  1. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty

    Last word to Mark Steyn?

    • #31
  2. Pony Convertible Inactive
    Pony Convertible

    Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, as well as possession.  He was so stoned that he couldn’t figure out which house was his as he drove down the street he lives on.   Mr. Irsay very well could have killed someone.  He certainly put lives at risk.  He will pay his penalty under the law, but the NFL has remained quite.  To date they have not punished him for his actions. Sterling is being lynched for what he thinks, which didn’t put anyone at risk.   Apparently what you think is more important than your actions.   Frankly, I don’t like racism, but policing thought is even worse to me.

    • #32
  3. Concretevol Thatcher

    I pretty much agree with Geraghty on this one.  I guess I don’t see this as a privacy issue as much as a business decision.  If a franchise owner in a business I’m running offends pretty much all of my employees and my entire consumer base when they catch wind of him being a racist a-hole, I’m firing his ass.  End of story.  
    This doesn’t mean the NBA and the NAACP (lifetime achievement award?!?!?) should be off the hook for overlooking the obvious for years.   They should win some sort of hypocrisy award…..

    • #33
  4. user_353507 Member

    It’s really only about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ –  and the potential loss thereof!

    • #34
  5. user_86050 Inactive

    Last week, we were discussing the ramifications of opposing gay marriage, and what constitutes a “thought crime.” You can’t be executed or fired simply because of your thoughts, can you?

    No sooner did we have that discussion, this Sterling clown comes along. This week we find ourselves immediately agreeing that Sterling should be punished for his thoughts, because we find them so repugnant.

    Like others, I’m a little unnerved by that contrast. It suggests that what makes “repugnant beliefs” punishable is only a matter of degree, not quality.

    Last week some people wrote a public letter that argued that, while they don’t agree with what traditionalist marriage supporters believe, they urge that such views shouldn’t be punished. But I doubt anyone is going to write such a letter urging that Sterling’s view shouldn’t be punished. 

    Look, morality isn’t easy. Sometimes, the logic forces you into uncomfortable conclusions. And while I don’t give a damn about Sterling, I do worry about the long term effect of trying to punish someone for his thoughts, no matter how much I disagree with them. 

    I don’t want to validate “thought crimes.”

    • #35
  6. user_6236 Member

    Hmm.  Haven’t read in detail yet, but the NBA has apparently published its constitution and bylaws, according to CBS Sports.  But it sounds like there is no rule here, other than the “Best Interest of the Association.”

    • #36
  7. Metalheaddoc Member

    Perhaps we need to put microphones in all the NBA locker rooms. We need to monitor the players conversations for any hateful or offensive comments.

    • #37
  8. Yeah...ok. Inactive


    He had the power and the inclination and he didn’t dither. There’s something to be said for that.

     EJHILL, I really appreciate your posts that share a little bit of your insider experience with sports broadcasting. Thanks.

    It is easy not to dither when you know you will get zero pushback from MSM. He had to act because it was middle of playoffs. I’d be surprised if the current “punishment” remains unchanged after the playoffs.

    • #38
  9. DrewInWisconsin Member


    Perhaps we need to put microphones in all the NBA locker rooms. We need to monitor the players conversations for any hateful or offensive comments.

     Why stop there? Telescreens in everybody’s home ought to do the trick.

    • #39
  10. user_129539 Member

    So feeling the wrong thing and never acting on it is now a crime which you can have property  and your liberties removed over it. If I actually cared about the NBA I would tell the commissioner the piss off and never watch a game again.

    Free speech is for protecting people who cross a line not for speech you agree with. That is why Nazi speech and parades are allowed in America even though they are scumbags. 

    If I were Sterling I would sue for breach of privacy and first amendment rights and demand I be able to record everything the commissionaire says for a few weeks. Everyone says stupid things at times and it is a pretty good bet he could find something the commissioner says over a few week period as politically incorrect. Record what NBA players say in their own house and you would have so much fodder of offense language you could most likely fire half the players for breach of contract. Then again hypocrisy is a Christian/conservative  sin not a liberal one. It is ok to be a Hippocratic it you are a  PC thought police.

    • #40
  11. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya

    Basil Fawlty:

    Last word to Mark Steyn?

     As usual, Steyn nails it.

    • #41
  12. Stad Coolidge

    Nick Stuart: But am I the only person a little uneasy about how remarks he made in a private conversation that was surreptitiously recorded then released to tabloid media are being used against him?

     I have not heard the tape, but no doubt his remarks indicate he is a bigot.  Nonetheless, I’m uncomfortable with the idea that having a particular viewpoint (wrong and bigoted as it is) can result in having the whole world come crashing down on your head, plus a huge fine and being forced to sell something you own (stand by, there could be some long legal battles here regarding the forced sale of his team).  Sterling’s beliefs are current, but look at Paula Dean.  Remarks she made 30 years ago resulted in the whole world crashing down on her head as well.  Brendan Eich of Mozilla is another example.  Will my politically incorrect donations to certain conservative causes result in my losing my job, livelihood, or property?  A lady friend of 45 years knows I don’t recognize her Massachusetts “marriage” to her “wife”, but we still love each other (and I like her “wife” too – a nice lady).

    • #42
  13. Eeyore Member

    I don’t think it can gather this much steam, but I wouldn’t put it out of the realm of possibility that he will be…urged…to sell the team to a “diverse consortium of buyers” for $1.

    • #43
  14. Leigh Inactive

    Question: if you are troubled by the response to Sterling, would you have been less troubled before the Eich incident?

    Here is a way of expressing conservative discomfort with the situation: if Sterling were an elected official, I think every single person on his thread would be thoroughly prepared to vote him out at the first opportunity (and the fact that he thought it was private would be irrelevant).  We wouldn’t be seeking impeachment, though, because while wrong and offensive it was not criminal.  We are uncomfortable with destroying peoples’ lives over statements that someone finds offensive, because the line is fuzzy and the power to destroy is immense. But we don’t feel sorry for Sterling, who brought it on himself.

    Because of the implications of what Sterling said for fans and those who worked for him, this is a borderline case.  Because what he said was so deeply offensive and because of the political context, it’s probably the worst example available to fight on.  In making your case that the Eich firing was outrageous, we don’t want to associate him with Sterling — that does Eich no favors.

    • #44
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