Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The disgusting Donald Sterling situation

LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling doesn't want black people at his games
"Don't bring black people to my games"
It's April. May is just around the corner.

We are in the midst of the NBA playoffs and several series are providing interesting storylines. The Mavericks are not bowing to the top-seeded Spurs. Grizzlies defender Tony Allen is doing a great job on four-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant. Trailblazer big man LaMarcus Aldridge is producing eye-popping stat lines against the Rockets. And the Hawks are leading the Pacers 3-2.

Unfortunately, those amazing storylines are put on the backseat because of known scumbag Donald Sterling. The billionaire LA Clippers owner, who is the longest-tenured team owner in the NBA, has been caught on tape saying some disgusting and incredibly offensive stuff about black people. On the tape recording, made public by celebrity news website TMZ, Sterling tells his then-girlfriend V. Stiviano that he doesn't like her "associating with black people" and "bringing them to my games", among other things,  after she posted a picture with NBA legend Magic Johnson on Instagram.

The recording caused an uproar, with several NBA players, including mega-stars LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, voicing their desire for Sterling's removal from the league. NBAPA President Chris Paul and his Clippers team mates considered not showing up for Game 4 against the Warriors, but they instead opted for a more symbolic statement: a very powerful refusal to wear the team's logo. 

Sponsors soon jumped ship. President Barack Obama spoke up. Internet users started creating hard-hitting memes and took to Twitter to condemn Sterling.

All eyes then turned to new commissioner Adam Silver. Appointed barely three months ago, he suddenly had an unprecedented debacle on his hands. Not only does Silver basically work for the 30 NBA owners, Sterling's freedom of speech and privacy were violated, and technically, he did not cause anyone any harm. Sure, his viewpoints are disgusting. Sure, he is a known scumbag. He still rightfully owns the team.

Or at least, owned.

Upon having confirmed that it was indeed Sterling's voice on the audio tape, Silver doled out a pretty harsh punishment: the Slumlord Billionaire was fined $2.5 million and was banned for life from NBA activities. Adam Silver will also urge the NBA owners to force a sale of the franchise. Perhaps to Magic Johnson and his Guggenheim Partners?

Whatever happens next, I feel glad for the Clippers for getting rid of their bigot owner who has been holding them back for years with his indecisiveness and incompetence. Was he baited? Probably. But that fact that he hasn't expressed any remorse for his racially-charged comments speaks volumes. He assumably believes that he hasn't done anything wrong. And people like that are always the most dangerous. 

LA Clippers WE ARE ONE

Update: Stiviano's representatives insist that the infamous tape was released by a third party.

Update 2: A group of NBA owners has taken the first steps to force out Sterling. He will not go down without a fight, though.

Update 3: Sterling is reportedly battling cancer.

Update 4: "The players don't hate me. The sponsors don't hate me. The fans don't hate me. The media hates me." Sterling's interview with Anderson Cooper is insane.

Update 5: As was to be expected, Sterling will not go down without a fight.

Update 6: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has won a bidding war for the Clippers, offering $2 billion, a record price for an NBA team.

Update 7: Sterling, diagnosed with Alzheimer's and thus ruled incompetent to have a voice in the sale of the Clippers, is planning to sue the NBA for $1 billion.

Update 8: It's all over. The judge ruled in favor of Sterling's wife Shelly, paving the way for the sale to Steve Ballmer.

Update 9: Steve Ballmers has memorably introduced himself as the new owner of the team.

Update 10: Sterling has given up the battle. 

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