Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Donald Sterling Goes On Racist Rant, NBA Will Investigate


Last night TMZ Sports released an audio recording of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in which he makes the racist declaration during a heated argument on April 9th with V. Stiviano after she posted a photo on Instagram posing with Magic Johnson. The whole conversation is posted in the video below.

The remarks are disturbing, to say the least. This audio recording has sent shock waves through the NBA and the entertainment community. The remarks are incredibly disgraceful and Sterling is, once again, on the hot seat. This isn’t the first time that Sterling has been called out for being a racist. He has been sued multiple times because he has been accused of not renting apartments to minorities in the buildings he owns in Los Angeles.

One of the people most prominently talked about in the arguement between Sterling and his girlfriend was Magic Johnson. Here are his comments via Twitter this morning.

NBA analyst and Grantland.com Editor-in-Chief Bill Simmons also chimed in on the recordings.

While there is no precedent for selling an NBA team based on racist comments, it’s a different time in a different league with a lot more at stake. Believe me, the NBA is not taking this lightly and has launched an investigation into the comments.

This problem is for the league and the owners to deal with. This issue should not concern Doc Rivers, Blake Griffin, and Chris Paul. However, that may be wishful thinking. The stars of the Clippers are definitely going to be asked repeatedly about these remarks and I assume they will say their quick piece and then try to move on. I’m sure all of these men have strong opinions on these comments, but they will not allow them to infiltrate their locker room and tear apart the team. Still, it’s a shame that the Clippers will have to deal with this mess while playing for the best team in franchise history.

It is my belief that the NBA will not attempt to force Sterling to sell the Clippers, mostly because they have no legal ground to do so. However, what I do anticipate is that the NBA will fine Sterling a hefty amount, probably in the millions of dollars, and they will suspend him for at least one season. There have been instances in the past where owners have been suspended from their teams for a season. In 1990, New York Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner was suspended from working day-to-day as the Yankees owner, though he still held ownership of the team. 

On July 30, 1990, Steinbrenner was banned permanently from day-to-day management (but not ownership) of the Yankees by MLB CommissionerFay Vincent for paying a gambler named Howie Spira $40,000 to dig up “dirt” on Winfield. Winfield had sued the Yankees for failing to contribute $300,000 to his foundation, a guaranteed stipulation in his contract. (Vincent originally proposed a 2-year suspension, but Steinbrenner wanted it worded as an “agreement” rather than a “suspension” to protect his relationship with the U.S. Olympic Committee; in exchange for that concession, Vincent made the “agreement” permanent.) After considerable negotiation with Vincent’s office, Robert Nederlander, one of Steinbrenner’s theatre partners and a limited partner in the Yankees organization, became the managing general partner.[28] After Nederlander resigned in 1992, he was succeeded by Joe Molloy, George’s son-in-law.

I fully expect the NBA to come to a similar resolution with Donald Sterling and semi-permanently remove him from his day-t0-day work as owner of the Clippers. While this is not the outcome that many Clipper fans and others would like, it is the one that the NBA will likely make. 

Tags: Donald Sterling Los Angeles Clippers

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