Donald Sterling will most likely be forced to sell his Clippers NBA team. He has already been banned for life by the NBA commission and fined $250,000, which he has so far refused to pay.
The billionaire was recorded privately making racist remarks such as "Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don't put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me."
The fact that the conversation was supposed to be private has sparked some debate over privacy concerns from such heavyweights as Bill Maher. Maher used the incident to reflect more on right to privacy in the wake of NSA surveillance and the Snowden leaks. Maher stated:
"Again, no one here is defending Don Sterling, but that's what's creepy to me is that we can't even speak in our own house anymore. I don't know how the tape gets out there, I don't know why it's legal. But I am much more concerned about things like that than I am the NSA, which I am concerned about, too."
But most people seem to think his racism overrides any infringements on Donald Sterling's privacy.
Sterling hired anti-trust lawyer Maxwell Blecher to represent him. The NBA has given Sterling until May 27 to respond to the their charges. Sterling asked the commission for a three month extension to get his reply together, but that request will most likely be refused. If Sterling doesn't respond within the five days, it will be the same as his admission to guilt. The commission charges Sterling with damaging the league with racist comments, thereby harming their relationship with merchandising partners and fans. All sponsors have either pulled out completely or temporarily suspended their relationship with the Clippers.
Having asked for what seemed like an eternity to address a few racist remarks, Sterling immediately decided to interview with Anderson Cooper on AC 360. A strange move for someone requesting time to gather their thoughts. Perhaps Donald Sterling should have waited. A number of people who wondered if a private, racist remark was really enough to cost someone an NBA team had no doubts after the AC 360 interview.
Sterling makes sweeping claims about Jews and blacks, dances around actually making an apology, and contradicts himself several times.
At one point during the interview, Sterling accuses the girl taping the conversation of forcing him into making racist comments.
The league alleges Donald Sterling was responsible for multiple violations of the NBA constitution. Article 13(d) of the constitution states that an owner may be removed by a two-thirds vote by other owners if they adversely affect the NBA or its members. Being responsible for losing millions of dollars worth of sponsors is certainly adverse to revenue. Article 13(c) deals with Sterling's refusal to pay the quarter million dollar fine levied by Commissioner Adam Silver.
The other NBA owners will vote on June 3 to decide whether or not Donald Sterling and his wife must sell the Clippers.
Images via USA Today