by AJ Gold
In light of Los Angeles Clippers Owner Donald Sterling's recently recorded comments, obtained first by TMZ and then an extend clip by Deadspin, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life from the Clippers organization and fined him $2.5 million. Sterling, who has a reputation for being a pompous, ignorant racist, finally got what he deserved.
Since taking ownership of the Clippers in 1981, he has accrued a reputation for discriminatory remarks. In fact, Sterling was almost booted from the NBA in 1982, in a similar situation, when an audio recording surfaced of him with more grotesque remarks, according to mashable.com.
In light of this long history of racism and bigotry, Silver’s decision was a necessary one, setting a zero-tolerance policy in place that should’ve been established decades ago. According to si.com, the other owners throughout the league are pushing Sterling to sell the team. The owners need a 75 percent majority vote, and it is inevitable they will achieve it. The vote will be held sometime next week, according to latimes.com.
However, it may not be all that easy; Sterling plans on suing the NBA for forcing him to do so and it appears as though an entire lawsuit will be stemming from this series of events. The fact that he was able to remain involved for another 32 years after tge first incident and taint the league and everything it stands for is disappointing. Adam Silver only took over as Commissioner last February, and he was able to do something that previous Commissioner David Stern couldn’t do in the 30 years he was tenured—remove Sterling from the NBA with one swift move. Not only was it executed perfectly, but any punishment less heavy than this wouldn’t have done the league justice.
The initial outcry from players, coaches and other executives from around the league was in extraordinary numbers and justified, and they got what they wanted. In a league where 77 percent of the players are black, according to espn.com, there can be no room for people like Sterling and what he stands for.
Silver dropped the hammer on Sterling, and it not only effectively ended his influence on the Clippers and the league, it did something that hadn’t been done in years; it united the entire NBA for a greater cause.