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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling banned for life by the NBA

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  • the truth Holladay, UT
    April 30, 2014 5:09 p.m.

    @CHS 85

    It's not just about the government, the people can censor as well.

    It one thing to not like what another says or disagree with them, and voice that disagreement, but it is entirely another to punish them for not for not thinking and talking like you. Something the left loves to do, to enforce their PC (politically correct, a communist term) views on everyone.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    April 30, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    First off, I don't in any way agree with what Sterling said... In fact I find it ignorant and offensive. However, a man has a right to his opinions. How many of us, if we were recorded when we didn't know it, say things that are stupid, ignorant, and offensive? I find it odd that Bundy - the Nevada rancher - made similar comments, and there was little backlash. He stood by it as his opinion. Sterling should be able to do the same. Players have the right, now that they know how he feels, to not play for him. Fans can not attend games while he owns the team. If they are that offended, that should be the course of action.

    I also think that African Americans that use racial slurs against each other all of the time need to stop, because how can they expect other races to respect them if they don't respect themselves. That word happens in NBA games, NFL games, etc. Why is it ok for them to talk that way to each other, but complain about a comment by an owner. It seems like a double standard to me.

  • Christianman SLC, UT
    April 29, 2014 9:45 p.m.

    If everyone actually listened to the 9 minute audio recording they would be dumbfounded. Not only does this woman attempt to set him up, she puts words and phrases into his mouth when he doesn't even what to discuss any of it. Multiple times throughout the recording he says "I like black people." I admire Magic Johnson." There is nothing wrong with black people. She asks him if he wishes she had a different skin color other than black. His answer is that there is nothing wrong with her.

    I cannot believe he got banned for life because of this. The whole argument began between the two of them because she put a picture of her and Magic Johnson on her Instagram. He didn't like it because she is his girlfriend and is obviously jealous. She spun it as a black issue, and he took the bait.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 29, 2014 9:13 p.m.

    I haven't watched one NBA regular season game for 3 years now. Used to be a die hard fan but no more. May watch some of the championship this year but other than a few players like Kevin Durrant who is a classy guy and great player much of the rest of the league is nothing but a bunch of rap-music college drop outs that love to tune in to horrible racists like JZ. Who could aford to go to a game anyway - the ticket prices are a joke. NBA is on the decline and with owners like this Sterling guy is it any wonder?

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    April 29, 2014 8:49 p.m.

    @Jazzsmack

    "If you don't defend and protect offensive speech, then the first amendment has no meaning."

    I wasn't aware that the government was censoring this man in any way.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    April 29, 2014 8:48 p.m.

    I am pretty befuddled by the comments on this story. Pretty incredible that so many of you give tacit approval to what he has said and that you truly believe that the NBA brand has no right to protect their brand and force the owner to live by the bylaws approved by the owners themselves. Good luck justifying that in your minds. Oh, and politicizing this incident is pretty lame. There are racist Republicans and racist Democrats. Political affiliation is irrelevant when it comes to racism.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    April 29, 2014 8:20 p.m.

    Anyone seen an analysis of the NBA constitution or any other legal authority/leverage the NBA might have to force Sterling to sell. It's shocking, but not surprising, how shallow the analysis has been in the media on that point.

    Sterling deserves all the derision and bad PR he's getting...that said, I'm not sure I've seen anything yet that would require him to sell the team. Thanks @VegasUte for the quote from the NBA constitution...not clear however what "contractual obligation" they will be able to say Sterling violated. Being a bigot is unseemly, but not illegal and not likely to be a breach of contract...wouldn't fall under most "morals clauses" in contracts and with the variety of characters who are NBA owner, I doubt there's a morals clause in the NBA Constitution.

    Sterling is just stubborn enough to fight this. I suspect the delay in Silver's announcement was due, at least in part, in trying to get Sterling to agree to sell, so my guess is that he's not planning to at this point.

  • Jazzsmack Holladay, UT
    April 29, 2014 5:59 p.m.

    If you don't defend and protect offensive speech, then the first amendment has no meaning.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    April 29, 2014 5:07 p.m.

    Coolio:

    If he is forced out, it will be by the NBA owners, not Sterling. Under the NBA constitution, the NBA owners have the right to revoke ownership if another owner "fails to fulfill" a "contractual obligation" in "such a way as to affect the [NBA] or its members adversely." It would take the vote of 23 of the 30 owners to revoke his ownership.

    If I had a billion dollar investment that was contingent on the behavior of someone else, I wouldn't want them around to damage my investment. The other NBA owners have the right by contract to protect their investments.

    The best thing for Sterling to do right now is sell the club anyway. It is worth a $billion right now, and if he doesn't sell, the value will drop rapidly. He is losing sponsors - again, they have the right to protect their products and don't want to be associated with this guy - good free agents are not going to want to deal with the club while he is the owner, and season ticket holders will start dropping off.

    This is NOT censorship or first amendment rights violation. It is business.

  • Coolio SLC, UT
    April 29, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    @ VegasUte

    "Sterling's business was not taken away from him, he can still own the Clippers. He just cannot associate with any functions of the league. The NBA is protecting their product, and they have that right."

    What you are missing is that Silver in addition to his life ban of Sterling is now telling the league owners to FORCE Sterling OUT! He is recommending that the owners force him to sell his rights and property that he owns.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    April 29, 2014 3:54 p.m.

    Cats

    "in America we have a right to be a complete jerk."

    The NBA is a business and they have the right to protect their business whether you like it or not. If you spouted off the way that Sterling did, it was made public and your employer found out about it, he would have the right to protect his business and fire you. Sterling's business was not taken away from him, he can still own the Clippers. He just cannot associate with any functions of the league. The NBA is protecting their product, and they have that right.

    This is NOT a first amendment issue people! Sterling had the right to be a complete jerk, which he freely exercised, as he has been for the last 30 years. No one is proposing that he should be arrested, or that his right to be stupid should be taken away from him. But - the NBA should not have to sit back and watch any part of it's product deteriorate because of his choice of actions.

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    April 29, 2014 3:54 p.m.

    @ Thornbirds:

    If you think there are so many radio and talk shows by conservatives are so offensive, what are you doing spending so much of your time listening to all of them? You must be doing so, or you are not in any position to make such a (ridiculous) statement.

    @ GoshJarcia and Veritas Aequitas:

    So you think black against while racism is laughable?? Tell that to the white tree trimmer in Detroit who was recently beat up and put into a coma by an all-black crowd after he hit a black youth who ran out in front of his truck. He stopped to help him before being viciously attacked by the black group. He may not live. Not so laughable.

    Or what about the Polar Bear games recently being played by inner-city black youth who walk up behind any unsuspecting white person and try to knock them out with a single punch. If not, they keep punching until they do. Several victims have died.

    Yet the media has mostly downplayed both above mentioned incidents.

    There truly exists a double standard in America where black-on-white racism is mostly overlooked and unreported.

  • SportsChemistry ENGLEWOOD, CO
    April 29, 2014 3:48 p.m.

    Punishing someone for pillow talk. Censorship to appease the masses.

    "...the most dangerous enemy of truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority. Oh, God, the terrible tyranny of the majority."

    Fahrenheit 451 (1953) by Ray Bradbury

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    April 29, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    @RSLJAZZBYUUTAH:

    That it took so long for his real feelings to become public is a travesty. This is not the first time he has voiced his racist opinions, not only in private but in public also. He has a 30 year history of these kind of statements. For example: before the basketball strike, when the all-star game was in L.A. ... in public ... he stated that he didn't know why they were striking, that they shouldn't have to pay each player more than $500,000, and that the players should be grateful for the $500,000 because none of them could get a job if they weren't playing basketball.

    There are many other stories, both public and private, that I have heard regarding this man and his views. This is NOT and isolated event that happened solely in the comforts of his home.

  • Beaver Native St. George, UT
    April 29, 2014 3:35 p.m.

    Ken,

    Whether or not racism occurs on both sides of the aisle is irrelevant. Racism has no place within any organization. In a way, as an NBA owner, he is a representative of the NBA, kind of the same way that an employer's employees' actions are used to judge the employer. As such, the NBA had every right - and I believe, every responsibility - to do what they did. Any employer has the right to fire an employee if the employee is out of step with the company's values.

    This isn't a free speech issue. He has not - nor will be - arrested for expressing his beliefs. However, there are societal consequences to everything a person does.

    Personally, I find his statements reprehensible. He wasn't only expressing a racist attitude, but demanding discrimination and hatred and trying to exercise unreasonable control over another and her beliefs. Such should not be tolerated.

  • David RI SLC, UT
    April 29, 2014 3:31 p.m.

    Now Greg Miller has lined up in full support behind the commissioner. Miller will now support the forcing of this man to sell his rights and property because of a private comment. Of course he will. Miller needs to protect his ownership from being villified by the 24/7 media cycle. He'll just get in line whether he thinks it wrong or right.

    It's a new world we live in. Technology and Political correctness have destroyed the idea of free thoughts and opinions. No longer do teachers teach from the heart for fear of being recorded and having their words twisted in the classroom. No longer do parents parent from their heart for fear of being ridiculed on facebook. Their kids have more power than they do.

    I agree with an earlier poster, where is the media discussion about wiretapping and extortion? The media portrays this woman as a hero. In reality her actions are far, far more damaging to society than the thoughts of an 82 year old man who by his actions employs countless minorities in his organization.

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    April 29, 2014 3:26 p.m.

    Apparently, as a society, we humans have not come far in embracing each other.
    There truly appeared to be progress seen in the past.
    Isn't that what we all thought?
    Is it fear?
    Why? What is the answer?
    There is so much of this hatred and bigotry emerging now. Not only in race relations. It is so very sad.
    Our children and grandchildren are watching and listening.
    They really do not understand why this is happening.

  • Area 52 Tooele, UT
    April 29, 2014 3:18 p.m.

    @ThornBirds

    You probably mean MSNBC right? Weren't they the ones that was making from of Mitt Romney's adopted black grandson?

  • Jack of trades SLC, UT
    April 29, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    I used to drive NBA players around the city when they played the Jazz when I worked in transportation. I had some pretty big stars in my vehicle. Countless times they would make race statements about Utah and how it was "too white" or reminded them of a "kkk convention." They would also make horrible comments about Mormons and one big name star even said the only good thing about Utah was defiling "white mormon girls."

    I still know who said these things, but I'll never tell. It was said in private and I respect their right to state their opinions. Never once did I ever think that saying something in private could result in being forced out of ownership and property.

    Every player in the NBA is probably shaking in their boots right now that somebody like me doesn't have their private comments on tape, cause they all know they've said far worse than Donald Sterling.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    April 29, 2014 2:33 p.m.

    Yes, this incident sounds like Karma for Mr. Stirling.

  • Coolio SLC, UT
    April 29, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    No talk in the media about the vindictive woman who secretly taped him for the purpose of extortion. No talk in the media about how this man employs hundreds of minorities within his organization including 11 black players and a black head coach, whom he pays millions to.

    Now the media lynch mob an lynch mob NBA has banned him from his own property and fined him 2.5 million dollars for a private discussion in his own bedroom that was in the context of his relationship with his troubled girlfriend?

    If John Adams were alive he would represent this man just as he did the British soldiers in the Boston Massacre. In the country that Adams helped to found, your private opinions within the walls of your own home were supposed to be free.

    A sad day in America. One positive from this is that from the comments I read in national stories I find that the majority of people feel as I do. There is not a public outcry as the media is suggesting.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2014 1:56 p.m.

    So when the president of the United States of America (barack huessein Obama) accuses a white police officer of being racists on national television and radio. Full well knowing he is being recorded. He also criticized the officer for acting stupidly and along with pointing out that this officer and the all of the officers of the station have a history of being racists.

    All of that turned out to be false. It was the black privileged and entitled professor that blew the whole thing out of proportion. Refused to identify himself to the officer (which is the law). The officer was checking on the professors home, after a neighbor reported it was being broken into. The officer does not know every single person that lives in every single home of the city. He needed to verify that the professor was indeed the homeowner.

    Yet no ban on the president from his office. Instead the left wing media celebrated with the beer summit, where he lectured the white officer about how racists everyone that white is. Barack who grew up with a white mom and family that raised him, while his black father left him....

  • Ironman SANTA CLARA, UT
    April 29, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    The Comish probably demanded that Sterling publicly apologize, and he refused.

    If Sterling does not voluntarily sell the Clippers, this matter will be tied up in arbitration and the courts for years. Meanwhile, through his shadow assistants Sterling will continue to run the team. No doubt he will raise the ticket and beer prices and cut salaries of future player contracts to compensate for the 2.5 million fine and millions in legal fees. Ultimately, the players, coaches and those who call themselves Clipper Fans will be the ones who pay.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    All else aside, just imagine if we were all judged by what we said in private to our girlfriends (wives)?

  • Abefroman22 Farmington, UT
    April 29, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    @GoshJarcia

    To continue to look back to the past and believe that you or anybody else should be rewarded for things their great-great grandparents went through is ridiculous. How will we ever move on as a society if we don't focus on the present and the future and how to move past those issues, ensuring that they are never repeated. Reverse discrimination is alive and well. In fact, I have an 80 page capstone paper about reverse discrimination and the effects it has had on our country that I completed for my graduate degree if you would like a copy. Another example might be the ruling that was just handed down in Michigan about minority students being accepted to schools based solely on their minority status. That is wrong, and that is reverse discrimination.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    April 29, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    His remarks were despicable. I in now way agree with anything he said But in America we have a right to be a complete jerk. I don't see how that means he has to lose his business. I think it is completely appropriate for sponsors, players and individuals to boycott him. But to lose his business? I guess the NBA has incredible power over owners. The real punishment will be in the fact that he will be ostracized from Hollywood and others he clearly wants to be loved by.

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    April 29, 2014 1:34 p.m.

    Josh,

    There is no more racism in this country against blacks today than there is against whites. In fact, looking at assaults by blacks against whites and whites against blacks it very well could be argued that blacks are more racist than whites.

    And look no further than affirmative action supporters who think its ok to deny a white person something for his race but its not ok to do the same for a black person shows where we stand in the war on racism. Its flipped from where we were a hundred years ago.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    @GoshJarcia,

    What person living today was forced out out their country, chained on a boat and sold into slavery?

    Seems to me no one has that to cry about today.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    April 29, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    This decision by the NBA was a business decision. Being openly racist is just bad business.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    April 29, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    He can always get a job out on a ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada.

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    April 29, 2014 1:17 p.m.

    JoshGarcia-- I in no way condone or agree with what was said by this guy but I'm curious how many generations must pass before we can judge entire classes of people by their own actions and finally move on?

  • GoshJarcia SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 29, 2014 1:00 p.m.

    Yes, he said this in private but it was made public. He has no case for a lawsuit against the NBA. The NBA is its own governing body and acted with in the limits of the NBA, doesn't matter how the tapes were released. At the end of the day Sterling admitted that it was his voice on the tapes, and Silver did the right thing. He could maybe sue his mistress that released the tapes, but Sterling should do the honorable thing and that's accept the ban and decide to sell the team himself instead of having the NBA owners vote to force him out.

    Whites in this country can start complaining about racism in this country when they are forced out of their country, chained on a boat and sold into slavery, then be completely marginalized by society, have the overwhelming majority of the prison population be white etc etc etc. Racism against blacks and other minority groups in this country is real, and alive. Racism against whites in this country... that's just laughable.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    April 29, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    Banned for life from the NBA?

    Forced to sell his enterprise?

    Fined 2.5 million for speaking his mind?

    Yikes.

    My wife would like to see me banned for life, if not longer, from the NBA, NFL, MLB for starters...

    What this man said is repeated in various forms/forums each and everyday all across America.

    The fact that he will be punished...while others less clumsy go without punishment...makes this guy a poster child for scapegoating.

    Until the source of this kind of thinking is eradicated...nothing will change

  • Samwise Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 29, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    Sure, what Sterling said is wrong and messed up, but a lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine is a HUGE overreaction by the NBA. Also, Chris B is absolutely correct in his comments on this article, to the point where I almost made my comment simply be "Ditto Chris B". Racism works both ways, and absolutely should be treated the same no matter whom is racist against whom. It is just as ugly when blacks are racist against white as when whites are racist against blacks (or any race against any other race for that matter).

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    April 29, 2014 12:49 p.m.

    @Chris B
    Well, to be fair, the earliest documented racism by Sterling was back in 1983, he had 30 years of being a public racist without punishment. Let's see if Jay Z can last that long.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2014 12:38 p.m.

    It's interesting that Jay-Z recently wore a necklace with a large symbol from a anti-white group and it barely received any attention.

    Now this guy, a prominent Democrat we should add, spouts off and he's banned for life. Jay-Z was previously a minority owner of the nets and is still heavily involved in the NBA, including as an agent of several high profile players.

    We live in a world where we are hyper sensitive to white on black racism, but all too often sweep black on white racism under the rug.

  • RSLJAZZBYUUTAH West Valley, UT
    April 29, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    I guess we should all be careful what we now say in private. I honestly believe Sterling might have a case for a law suit, I do not agree with him at all, but it was something said in private.