Donald Sterling and his "friend" V. Stiviano.
Late last week, audio of a conversation with LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his girlfriend V. Stiviano was made public. In this tape, you can hear the man essentially pleading with his girlfriend not to bring her black friends to his games (The full audio of this tape can be found here).
Today, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that Sterling is banned for life from the NBA and the LA Clippers. On top of that, they have leveled a $2.5Million fine, too.
We all agree that what Donald Sterling said was wrong; however, this story has so much more than a racist statement. Here are my five thoughts.
#1: While her lawyers say she didn't leak the tape, V. Stiviano allegedly recorded a private conversation with another person. Is confidentiality dead? Can we no longer have conversations with another person without fear they could be made public and potentially damage your life and reputation forever? Do the ends justify the means?
#2: Listen to the tape (link here). You can clearly hear that Sterling's girlfriend is pressing him on the issue of race. Did someone pay her to do that? They say she didn't leak the tape, but I am not buying that at all. Someone talked to this woman, threw down a dollar amount, she pressed him on the race issue, and boom - we have a tape. Could that recording been what the NBA wanted to boot the racist scum bag? We're also told the NBA didn't know anything about Sterling's racist activities. Excuse me, I'm smelling a big hot pile of BS. The bottom line is that the guy's woman had to have been paid to leak the tape. Something more is here.
#3: Can someone now be booted from their job for an opinion they hold? Take his opinion and put another people group in there. What if he said he doesn't what whites, Asians, Jews, liberals, or conservative Christians at his games? Would the outcry have been the same? What if he had another type of unpopular opinion? Who determines what opinion is worthy of losing someone's job?
#4: The NBA is a privately held company. If they want to boot the racist scum from his job, they have a right to do that. Being that we have the free market we do, the NBA should and has made their own decisions as to how they want to operate.
#5: According to Forbes, Donald Sterling isn't hurting for cash. His net worth is valued at $1.9Billion. Yes, that's with a "B." He bought the team in 1981 for a price of $12.5Million. The LA Clippers are now worth almost $600Million (CNN). So, is it really "punishment" to be forced to make nearly $600Million?
NBA Comissioner Adam Silver announcing the organization's response to Donald Sterlnig's racist comments.
(Photos: Getty Images).