The New Dealer

  • February 7February 2019 Edition

“Not a racist.” vs “Don’t bring him to my game.”

Kevin Lam, Reporter

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Revealed by TMZ.com, Donald Sterling’s racist comments were the most outrageous and discouraging news story of May. It bombarded our TV screens and filled the headlines of all sports magazines. Billboard Music Award’s top artist Justin Timberlake said live on TV, “I wanna thank everybody on Earth, everybody on Earth, except… except Donald Sterling.” He shook his head.

Four weeks ago, TMZ posted an audio clip of Sterling berating a female friend for publicly associating with black people, including NBA great “Magic” Johnson.  The recording widely outraged NBA fans and severed several commercial sponsors associated with Sterling’s L.A. Clippers. “As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views,” Michael Jordan, former Chicago Bulls basketball player, said in a statement last month. “As a former player, I’m completely outraged.”

National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver, subsequent to an internal investigation, confirmed the validity of the recording and pronounced a life-time ban from the NBA for Sterling. Silver urged the other 29 team owners, who made up the NBA Board of Governors, to force a sale of the L.A. Clippers.  The punishment was considered to be “unprecedented.”  It requires a three-fourth majority vote by the owners. The NBA was also about to bring Sterling to court, on the grounds that his misconduct has seriously damaged the reputation of NBA, and hence, a powerful reason for expelling him as an owner under the NBA’s constitution and bylaws.

Sterling denied the accusation of racism, but it further angered the public. Sources and rumors discussed that he has no willingness to sell his team or to apologize in any circumstance. However, Sterling said through a lawyer on May 23, that he would challenge any such effort in court, after he acknowledged the suit by the NBA.

Throughout the heated debate and public loathing, the spotlight has also hit the Sterling family, especially his estranged wife, Shelley Sterling who was a longtime business partner with Donald Sterling .  She owns 50% of the stake of team, and has likewise said, she would defend her interest via legal actions.

A ferocious court drama is soon to come.  Sterling is a billionaire.  He can afford to keep this in court for awhile.  The winning bid for the purchase of the team is 2 billion.  Seeing he purchased the team for 12 million, years ago, racist or not, the rich are about to get richer.  Not a bad profit for being a jerk.

 

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“Not a racist.” vs “Don’t bring him to my game.”