Donald Sterling banned from NBA: would you vote to force him to sell the Clippers?

Adam Silver, Commissioner of the NBA, has just banned Clippers team owner Donald Sterling from the NBA for life. Now the other 29 team owners in the NBA would have to muster a two-thirds majority vote to force Sterling to sell the Clippers (possibly to Magic Johnson).

If you were an NBA owner, would you vote to force Donald Sterling, an admitted racist, to sell the Clippers?


Adam Silver, Commissioner of the NBA:

"The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful; that they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage. Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multicultural and multiethnic league.

"I am personally distraught that the views expressed by Mr. Sterling came from within an institution that has historically taken such a leadership role in matters of race relations and caused current and former players, coaches, fans and partners of the NBA to question their very association with the league.

"To them, and pioneers of the game like Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, Sweetwater Clifton, the great Bill Russell, and particularly Magic Johnson, I apologize. Accordingly, effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team. He will also be barred from attending NBA Board of Governors meetings or participating in any other league activity.

"I am also fining Mr. Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution. These funds will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and its Players Association.

"As for Mr. Sterling's ownership interest in the Clippers, I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team and will do everything in my power to ensure that that happens."

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This is a valid concern. It seems odd that we have to be concerned for the rights of a racist (or for some an atheist), but we do. I do think forcing people be politically correct in the business world is a mechanism that helps free the newer generations from indoctrination to a racist world view, However I am also concerned that big brother will eventually convict us of thought crime.

Robert this is more than political correctness. He told someone not to invite or be seen with a black person at an NBA event. This is outright discrimination...not just a personal opinion. Any company would rightly fire a guy who was caught saying this for many reasons and rightly so.

If I mentioned to a coworker that I don't like to hang around Christians and my conversation was recorded without my consent, should I be fired? Did I break a law?

There is a balance that must be negotiated carefully here.






We aren't talking about a private conversation on personal feelings. It was clearly related to NBA events. He told his girlfriend not to invite or be seen with non white people at games.

If your boss caught you on tape (recorded in the office or at home) asking employees under you not to bring christians with them to the company BBQ then you can certainly be fired. If it's a large company and the tape is leaked to the media ... I can't imagine one not being fired for it. If throughout the whole process you made no effort to retract the statement then the boss would be crazy not to fire you.

A private conversation is defined by its privacy, not its subject matter. It was also between Sterling and the girlfriend (ex? mistress?), not in the context of company business.'re right unseen...I should have worded this more carefully. The conversation was not solely about personal feelings and opinions of a general nature. It was clearly linked to the NBA and included specific requests about another persons conduct at an NBA event...a rather racist and outright discriminatory request at that.

Where is the line? If he was telling her not to invite any blacks to a birthday party at his house, is that also cause to be fired?

I have seen many comedians who's entire routines taken in any other context would be considered extreme racism. It seems context, morality of the day and even interpretation are important factors in the evaluation of discrimination versus our "unalienable" right of free speech. Is that the way it should be?

What's sort of funny is that he is banned for life...he's 80...well they say only the good die young.

If the party at the house is an NBA event or sufficiently linked to the NBA then yes that would be cause to be fired.

What's funnier is that if he's forced to sell the company, he'll be taking a giant profit.

I really don't get this. How could opposing Sterling's discrimination against black people worsen discrimination against atheists (or non-Christians)?

I oppose discrimination against atheists as I oppose discrimination against blacks, LGBT, women, the elderly, and other social groups. If there's a delicate balance here, I'm not seeing it.

It's the right to not be discriminated against versus the right to have and voice an opinion, no matter how stupid. And trust me, an atheist probably seems pretty stupid to a know it all xtian.

Face it, we trash (discriminate against?) theists all the time here. Some of us may even be at work when we do it. ;)

Dear Galloping Shiny Glass,

    You go girl!

Don Sterling may not be up to your standards (I doubt anyone is) however he does employ people with a skin color darker then his own at a much higher rate then the average worker in America, so he ain't all bad. :)

Are you going after Jesse Jackson next?  He heard somebody taped him saying something negative about Jews.

Good luck with your next witch hunt, I feel sure it will bring you much pleasure.

PS. This one had me laughing

"That's a slippery slope fallacy and a rather outlandish one."

especially the outlandish part. :)

I will try and make my opinions match yours in the future (not). :D

You can bet his agreement with the NBA has some clause like "public behavior befitting and becoming an NBA owner" or "impropriety or the appearance of impropriety" - something that covers situations like this but that is worded vaguely enough so that they could either enforce it or not.  In this case they choose to enforce it because it could directly affect their bottom line.

Btw, not all speech is free.  Anyone can say what they want, but actions have consequences.  He can say whatever hateful racist crap he wants, but if he offends the larger part of his fan/customer base and they stop buying tickets to the games or team jerseys, etc...not a good business decision.  Other team owners are afraid their pockets will suffer if they don't condemn Sterling's actions.


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