In my last post, I condemned LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his racist comments.
He should be called out, criticized and maybe ostracized for those comments … But.
First, Sterling’s comments were made in private, recorded and then publicized. How any things have you said in private to a family member or close friend and would be damaged in various ways if your remarks were recorded and exposed?
Sterling has a history of allegations and lawsuits of discrimination; those actions are separate from the recent comments.
But the decision to ban Sterling for life and talk of forcing him to sell the team is tied directly to those recent private comments … not other possible discrimination issues.
I will not defend what Sterling said … but the ban and perhaps a future vote to remove him as an NBA owner because of those comments is wrong.
He proved what a racist he is … but he broke no written law.
(For that matter the NAACP leaders who voted to honor Sterling in the past and planned to do so again AND gladly took all his cash … broke no written laws, but the NAACP accepted Sterling’s history of discrimination. Should those leaders be banned from the NAACP?)
Public outrage, advertiser responses, ticket sales … those will be Sterling’s proper and just punishment.
Then again, maybe those responses don’t materialize or they are here today … gone tomorrow.
One test will be to see if a black player who wants to be in the NBA accepts a multimillion dollar contract with the Lakers while Sterling is still the owner.
That brings up another point. Would that player be criticized for signing that contract?
If so, how many of us have worked for someone we didn’t even like … much less someone who had opposing moral, religious or political views … but we still took the check?