Donald Sterling Scandal Remains an Issue

Members of the LA Clippers protest team owner Donald Sterling. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.
Members of the LA Clippers protest team owner Donald Sterling. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.



It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” Donald Sterling said this to his alleged girlfriend in a recorded conversation.

Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was at the center of controversy this week after these racial comments came out and brought some unwanted attention to the NBA.

The NBA responded to these remarks with a fine of $2.5 million and a lifetime ban, permanently prohibiting Sterling from any basketball activities.

However, the ban did not remove his team ownership, even though it should have.

It is up to the league to pursue what is best for the Clippers and the 29 other teams, which is to remove Sterling from the NBA completely. This issue put the NBA in the spotlight, and not for good reasons. An absolute removal of Sterling will show players, young kids and people around the world, that racism is something that should not be tolerated by any means.

Sterling continued in the recording and said to the woman that she could do what she wants to and associate with whom she wants, just as long as she doesn’t publicize it.

The little I ask is that you don’t promote it – and don’t bring them to my games,” he said.

Commissioner Adam Silver, who made the announcement of Sterling’s ban, still has more work to do. He urged the league’s Board of Governors to force a sale of the Clippers and fully remove Sterling from the league. Now all he has to do is make sure that happens. This can be done with a vote of approval from three quarters, or 22, of the 29 other team owners in the league. The committee has met and “unanimously agreed to move forward as expeditiously as possible.”

What makes matters worse is the fact that this isn’t the first time the NBA had tried to remove Sterling from his position in the league. In 1982, he was fined $10,000 by the league when he claimed that he would accept the Clippers finishing in last place. This would result in them being given the top draft pick before the upcoming season.

In addition, Sterling moved the Clippers from San Diego to Los Angeles in 1984 and resulted in another fine by the NBA because the move wasn’t approved.

These previous incidents are even more of a reason to let Sterling go entirely. He has been referred to as a racist and “the worst owner in sports.” He hasn’t been a good influence on his players, who plan to boycott the league if they don’t remove him permanently.

They had already made a statement and held a silent protest against Sterling before his ban was announced. They wore red shirts inside out to hide the Clippers team logo.

In the end, it is best for everyone if Sterling is removed completely from the NBA and his responsibilities as a team owner. No player will want to be a member of his team after these comments came out. The NBA needs to make the right move and show respect to the Clippers players, as well as in the league and in the sports world as a whole.

As the team waits for the removal to happen, they will try to stick together and focus on achieving their goal of a championship win. However, if Sterling keeps his position as team owner, head coach Doc Rivers as well as multiple players plan to leave the organization.

“They’re young men,” Rivers said to ESPN. “It shouldn’t be African-American men. We have two white guys. It’s about being human. No one was happy about it. That’s the way it should be.”

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the country, with players of various races. These comments affected and angered a lot of people. Whether they are in Los Angeles or New York, a kid or an adult, racism continues to have a harmful effect on people everyday.

The NBA and Commissioner Silver showed no acceptance for racism with the ban of Sterling, but they need to make it complete and remove him from his ownership.