NBA Commissioner Adam Silver bans LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life

Some of you may not be aware that I am every bit as much a basketball fan as I am a baseball fan. It is with that fanaticism that I am proud that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has banned LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for racist remarks made on tape that were released over the weekend. There is no place for these kinds of comments in pro sports, let alone the NBA. Commissioner Silver may have only been on the job for three months, but he has already leapt above the other Big 4 commissioners in terms of forcefulness. Thanks, commish.

There will be plenty of time in the future to speculate on the fate of the Clippers, Sterling, or new ownership. For now let’s reflect on where we are as a society in terms of race relations, and remember that sport in its purest form transcends race.

22 thoughts on “NBA Commissioner Adam Silver bans LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life

  1. Don’t be surprised if Sterling goes to court (the legal kind) and gets an injunction enabling him to sit courtside (the basketball kind) for a long time. He’s apparently already said the team is not for sale.

  2. Apparently the NBA constitution is pretty clear that Sterling is screwed pjk. His peers vote him off the island he can sue to his hearts content and he’ll be dead long before he wins anything.

  3. From your tweet, it looks like he’s able to hand down the team to his wife/son though?

  4. Have to believe a commissioner like Silver in MLB would have had the A’s in a new stadium several years ago, instead of doing nothing but keeping his head in the sand and avoiding the problem.

  5. Should be an interesting off season to see what happens to the Clippers franchise. I would still like to see a team in Seattle but I don’t think it will happen.

  6. Banned forever! This is awesome! A historical day for sports and America. A victory for players and fans.

  7. It is/would be a massive legal mistake for the NBA to try and force Sterling to sell the team. The best they can hope to do is make him want to sell the team rather than unilaterally stripping him of ownership, which would end with the NBA getting embarassed in court.

  8. SMG, please explain? Because as I understand it the ownership agreement that Sterling is a party to specifically allows for the NBA to strip him of ownership by a vote of his partners/peers.

  9. There will be plenty of time in the future to speculate on the fate of the Clippers, Sterling, or new ownership. For now let’s reflect on where we are as a society in terms of race relations, and remember that sport in its purest form transcends race.

    Amen.

  10. If I am not mistaken, hasn’t JayZ made racial statements in the past??Isn’t he one of the owners of the Brooklyn Nets? Just sayin’ This opens up a precedent that will have future ramifications in some way.

  11. Has Jay Z said he dislikes a certain race?

  12. @Dan: The NBA can only force a sale if Sterling has broken contractual agreements, which I kind of doubt he has. Even if Silver gets the votes from the owners, there is going to be a long court battle that may end very badly for the NBA. It is not worth their time or effort to pursue a path that could easily end up in a court ruling against them. They are better off increasing pressure on him to sell (without literally forcing it) by doing something like assembling a new ownership group willing to make Sterling an offer he’d be hard pressed to refuse. The shit Sterling said might piss people off, but it was in no way illegal with regards to his ownership of the team or against any contractual agreement that I’m aware of.

  13. Sterling is notorious for suing everyone, he sued the league and got a 25 mill fine reduced to 6 mill after he moved the Clips to LA from Sd without permission. He will win in the end. Bastards always do (pardon my french)

  14. FWIW, Jay-Z is no longer a part owner of the Brooklyn Nets.

  15. @Yeye
    how would sterling win at the end..of nobody signs with thr DAMN CLIPPERS…LAKERS should be drooling over thr fact that doc rivers and cp3 could be lakers…anyway Bomani Jones had a article in 2006 about sterling not discriminating against Latinos and african Americans…so his comments finally was the straw that broke the camel’s back. …sigh..anyway go Warriors win game 6..its going to be sssooo loud in Oakland on Thursday…and good job A’s today too..

  16. @ SMG

    As I understand it, the contract he has repeatedly signed (the NBA Constitution) says that he will give up the team on a 3/4 vote of the owners.

    How the heck does he fight that? (I agree he will try, though).

  17. @ jeopardydd

    I’d like you to point out where it says he can be forced to sell his property for ANY reason that the other owners vote upon. Because I’m pretty sure that’s false. Like it or not. Stirling turning the court of public opinion against him is stupid, but not criminal or against any explicit contractual agreement that I’m aware of. He’d be smart to continue to claim he won’t sell to see how high he can drive of the price, and then sell.

    This whole “issue” has become totally emotional and people aren’t looking at it logically or from a legal perspective, and that’s only going to harm the NBA and potentially end up costing them a lot of money and making Sterling tons of money.

  18. “I’d like you to point out where it says he can be forced to sell his property for ANY reason that the other owners vote upon. Because I’m pretty sure that’s false. … ” I don’t think jeopardydd can because, as I understand it, the NBA has forbidden the league constitution to be made public. ESPN though has mentioned that “(f)or Sterling to be forced to sell, 75 percent of the teams would have to vote in favor of such a move. That means if 29 teams vote, Silver would have to get 22 yes votes. If all 30 clubs have a vote, the number needed for passage rises to 23. …” You can read the ESPN article by going to: http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10861110/vivek-ranadive-sacramento-kings-owner-expects-unanimous-vote-force-donald-sterling-sell-los-angeles-clippers

  19. Thanks muppet151! You beat me to it! The article you refer to mentions the conditions upon which an owner may be removed from the NBA. Quoting the article: “Article 13(a) lays out the process for voting an owner out of the league:

    The Membership of a Member or the interest of any Owner may be terminated by a vote of three fourths (3/4) of the Board of Governors if the Member or Owner shall do or suffer any of the following:

    (a) Willfully violate any of the provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws, resolutions, or agreements of the Association. …”

    I suppose the key word here is “willfully” in 13(a). Mr. Sterling, if he sues (and I think it is likely that he will) may argue that while he did indeed say something that was racist, it was “in the heat of the moment” during an argument with his girlfriend. Yes, I think that would be a weak argument as well. I’m not a lawyer, but on the surface it looks like in order for him to keep the Clippers, he would need to show that while he violated an NBA provision, it was not done willfully. Then again, he may finally demonstrate a modicum of decency by not suing the league, quietly sell the team for whatever amount and live the rest of his life out of the spotlight. (Yeah, I don’t think so either!)

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