It was wise to punish Sterling

“Goodbye Mr. Sterling”


The biggest news in pro sports today is without a doubt the huge story on Donald Sterling, owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, and the release of a recording between himself and his girlfriend.

On this recorded phone conversation, Donald Sterling revealed that he was not a fan of his girlfriend hanging out with minorities in public. His girlfriend had a picture of herself with Magic Johnson, who is a former Los Angeles Laker and hall of famer.

While he doesn’t mind her spending time with minorities, he doesn’t appreciate it being displayed on social media.

Supposedly, he has friends who have the same thought process as him and they notified him of the pictures on her Instagram with other minorities. After new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver placed an investigation on the situation to determine how it should be handled, Silver’s punishment to Sterling for his racist comments over the phone was that he banned Sterling from the NBA for life with a $2.5 million fine to add a cherry on top.

Many believe the punishment to be very much appropriate. Famous celebrities and entertainers such as Snoop Dogg, Charles Barkley, Kevin Hart, Shaquille O’Neal and Magic Johnson all agree with the punishment and view it as necessary.

Some people, like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, view the punishment to be a little extreme. The world we live in today has no place for that kind of thinking process, especially in the sports world.

The NBA is a league that is made up of at least 80 percent African-Americans. In a league where a minority is really the majority, how can we allow a man who is racist against minorities to manage them?

The Los Angeles Clippers roster is made up of 11 athletes who are all either African American or are mixed with it. That is more than 80% of the roster, and let’s not forget that the head coach Doc Rivers is African-American as well.

A man with this “Jim Crowe” thought process should not be allowed have the economic power that he has over the lives of the athletes on his team. You can even view it as him putting himself above these people who work under him, further making him feel that the way he does business is the right way.

In the recording Sterling had a very disheartening thing to say about the way we live in America. “I am living in a culture, and I have to live within the culture,” said Sterling. “People feel certain things. Hispanics feel certain ways toward Blacks, Blacks feel certain things towards other groups. It’s been that way historically, and it will always be that way.”

In those quotes you get a feel that Sterling has this generalization for how certain ethnic groups feel toward one another. While it is true that a certain percentage within those certain groups feel that way toward one another, that is no excuse for this man to tell his wife that she cannot post pics of herself publicly with African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans or any minority for that matter.

It was very wise for NBA Commissioner to give the punishment he did because it does not only rid the NBA of that kind of ignorance, but it also sends a message.

The message it sends is that this kind of racism or prejudice will not be allowed in this league. It sends a message to the owners, athletes, trainers and coaches of the NBA who secretly share this thought process. It’s basically telling them that if you are going work in this business, you have to keep that way of thinking bottled up, because it’s not welcome here. The decision to ban Donald Sterling was the correct decision to make for all the right reasons and there is no doubt in my mind that this decision will prove to make the NBA as a whole stronger.