Point of View
Scandal In The NBA
By Trevor Roberts
May 3, 2014 - 6:29:49 AM

The Los Angeles Clipper posted the following message on their site after the NBA held its press conference regarding owner Donald Sterling.
UNITED STATES—Wow, what a weekend in the NBA! With playoffs in action, no one could have expected the news that has literally rippled across America. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has allegedly been caught on tape making racist comments. Listening to the audio obtained by TMZ made me sick to my stomach, not to mention the fact that it has made the media circuit. How could he? No, how dare he make such comments and not expect them to see the light of day?


For those not in the know, Sterling’s girlfriend or associate (depending on who you ask), V. Stiviano has audio of the Clippers owner going on a racist rant about her bringing black people to Clippers games. For starters, Stiviano is mixed. She is both black and Mexican. I can’t wrap my head around a man who has so much animosity for a particular race, yet you’re involved with a woman who happens to be black. Next, the picture that she posted on social media was one of NBA legend Magic Johnson. Like seriously, did he not expect this controversy to hit the fan when the media got hold of the information?


I mean the Los Angeles Clippers were actually making a comeback in my opinion; making the team much more relevant than what it has been in the past. This controversy could honestly end the Los Angeles Clippers as we know it. The outrage over Donald Sterling has already cost him a load of sponsors and big-time celebrities have already advocated to never attend another Los Angeles Clippers game as long as he remains an owner. Does Donald Sterling even realize what he has done, if the reports of him knowing he was being recorded could eventually come to surface? I mean revenue comes from attendance. If no one is attending the basketball game, there is no revenue.


Issues of sanctions amongst other things are already at the forefront, as many are asking the NBA to eliminate Mr. Sterling from his position as owner of the team. I'm sure it wouldn’t be a problem to find another big wig to purchase the team, but the question is would anyone even want to buy the team at this point?  My biggest concern is the players themselves. Mr. Sterling has placed his players in a catch-22. 


This guy made despicable comments, knowing that more than 3/4 of the players on his team are black. Honestly, could I work for an individual with such disgust for me, yet he’s making millions off of me? I don’t think so, but at the same time playing during game-time is a livelihood for these players. Damn if they do and damned if they don’t. The players were not thrilled about the comments, as point-guard Chris Paul released a statement about the controversy, as did the team’s coach Doc Rivers.

The team appeared as a united front during Sunday’s game against Golden State wearing their jerseys inside out.  It's evident they’re not happy, but I honestly think the deciding factor will be the fan turnout when the Clippers return to play at home and it was amazing. The amount of support the team received from fans were astounding.


It’s sickening to realize that in this day in age, we’d like to think we’ve made great strides in promoting equality amongst all races, yet we continue to have bigots and prejudiced individuals who are increasingly making their views evident to society. The NBA is going to have to take some sort of action to remedy the issue at hand. Can they fire him? Well, how do you fire the owner of a NBA team? Has it ever happened in the league's entire history? I’m not sure, but it's not just players from the LA Clippers who have voiced their opinion, other big-time players in the league like LeBron James has voiced his concern about Mr. Sterling and the bad influence he can have on the league. 


NBA Commissioner Adam Silver nailed the hammer during a press conference on April 29, indicating that Donald Sterling has been banned from the NBA for life. Wow, I did not expect that. Silver made it crystal clear that such behavior would not be tolerated and even made it clear he plans to have a vote with the other team owners to oust Sterling from the Clippers. I find it nearly impossible for other owners to allow Sterling to maintain his control, as it would place them in a bad light. Many are arguing that he will make millions off of the sell of the team, but at this point there is not much that can be done. It's either allow him to sell the team or condone such despicable behavior as acceptable in the NBA.


I wonder if it was a good thing that this audio has been released. America is given an examination of racism front and center, we all like to think of it as this small little secret that doesn’t impact many, but the truth of the matter is racism is all around us. Donald Sterling has once again forced the nation to engage in discussion about racism. As much as we’d like to think it doesn’t exist, it does and it’s time for us to confront it with an iron fist.

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