As much as we try

As much as we try, racism is still running rampant in our communities.

Unfortunately, some people still cannot rise above contentions held against a people for seemingly no reason.

When people in power, such as Donald Sterling, express these personal views, they tend to do so with little regard of the consequences.

Whether or not Sterling’s girlfriend at the time made it clear that she was recording him, he nevertheless said hurtful and shocking things. Speaking down to the very players that contribute to your own bank account is despicable, not to mention bad for business personally and professionally. There is no doubt in my mind that Sterling has been this was for quite a long time, and I am a little surprised that we are just seeing consequences from the National Basketball League.

The response from the NBA is shocking, a monumental lashing indeed. As I watched the press conference where the verdict was handed down, I was taken aback, exclaiming “Oh! Crap”, by the intense sanction relayed upon Sterling.

While I whole-heartedly agree that Sterling deserved to be punished, my personal opinion is that both a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine are too harsh.

Yes, he is reprehensible. Yes, he deserves to be punished, harshly. But the fact that he will never be allowed to attend a game, contribute to a team, assist a player or bequeath league knowledge to former co-owners in the league is staggering.

With the exclusion of Sterling from any NBA related events, it does not seem like too much of stretch to assume that the other two major leagues, the MLB and NFL, may soon follow suit and banish him from their events. Why wouldn’t they? It seems as though there would need to be some solidarity among leagues.

It is a slippery slope. If you do not exclude him from your events, are you seen as a supporter of him? It may be that he will be shunned from a lot of places as a result of companies being fearful of being labeled as supporters of Sterling’s activities.

Even though had botched the reporting regarding the decision of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the punishment purportedly relayed seemed closer to what should’ve happened. An “indefinite” suspension and hefty fine seemed to be more appropriate as a consequence for his actions.

There is the issue of his past indiscretions to take into account as well. When Silver was asked about Sterling’s lawsuits and reported behavior, he seemingly skipped passed the issue. Saying that the league took action when evidence was made public makes me think that they were forced to act on the behalf of the player to avoid backlash from the supporters of the league.

If Silver had chosen this route for Sterling’s demeritorious remarks, there would have been room for some rehabilitation for Sterling. The requirement of classes on toleration and massive amounts of community service would have been beneficial for both Sterling and the community. Even though he is elderly, I believe help is never to far away for anybody.

Who is to say that charities will even accept the fined monies? With the amount of sponsors that have already jumped the Sterling ship, it would not surprise me if the NBA had to look hard for some charities that would accept being associated with Donald Sterling’s image.

In a world that is constantly changing, maybe for the better, it is important that people can push past the views of our ancestors and look ahead to the future.

I also take issue with the idea that Silver may have been using Sterling to make a statement. I do not agree with or condone the use of extreme punishments just to make other people nervous, or fearful of doing bad things. It is not fair to anyone on the receiving end of these statement punishments, and it shows the ineptitude of the legal system to enforce laws by the book.

Overall, I agree with the fact that he should be punished. He said irreprehensible things. He treats people as if they were less than human. That being said, when has punishment ever reformed anybody? Education and treatment is the true helper to those in need, and seem to be more appropriate than a sweeping declaration taking away the very thing he loved forever.