Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, went from hero to zero in a few minutes because of illegally recorded private conversations he had with his girlfriend V. Stiviano in the privacy of his home. 

What is wrong with this picture? Where do I start?

Adam Silver

Adam Silver

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gave a Press Conference on April 29th, in New York to announce that Sterling will be banned from the NBA for life and will be fined $2.5 million for racists comments released in audio recordings. He also wants Sterling to be pressured to sell the team. WHAT? 

Spike Lee was sitting front row to listen to the big announcement. Need I say more?

Will they split the money between the black players who already make a fortune? Are they going to do a moral review of all the players and ban them from basketball if they made racist comments against white, Hispanic or even other Black people? What about if they mistreated a woman or said negative things about women in general? Will they be fined, fired or banned for life? Will having illegitimate children or cheating on your spouse count? Or is it reserved for the perception of racism during an argument?

Spike Lee

Spike Lee

They have opened a huge can of worms and I am afraid that Donald Sterling has become the biggest scapegoat there ever was in America.

I have listened to the tapes and it is obvious that he was being set up by his greedy girlfriend who had to be paid off by an interested party. First of all, if the man was a racist to the core, he would not be dating a woman of black and Hispanic heritage. Secondly, she keeps insisting and insisting to bring up the color of people’s skin. And he keeps telling her he loves everybody and he thinks Magic Johnson deserves to be admired.

Stiviano with Don

Stiviano with Don

The point of his ‘racism’ seems to be more about saving appearance so others won’t come back to him with comments. So the guy is trying to save face in his circles. He is also talking about a culture so nothing is spelled out very clearly. Not once, does he say he is a racist or he hates black or Hispanic people.

But her insistence is very telling. She will not let it go and keeps bringing back skin color and racism. He knew she was pushing too hard but I am surprised he did not see it coming. What she was doing was very obvious.

The man was taped against his will in his own home and it is acceptable to throw him the first stone? I am sorry but if we start going to people’s private residence to tape their intimate conversations, we will ban, fire and ostracize half of the planet.

So if some of the Black or Hispanic basketball players talked against white people, they would be fined and fired? Prepare the pink slips because it is happening.

The way they have been attacking Donald Sterling is all for show and to sound politically correct. He has been fined a huge amount of money that does not fit the crime. I cannot help but wonder if they wanted him out of his own Club and they forced his hand by entrapping him.

Banned for life? So now an owner has to have a moral clause? Can I fire my former high school coach for not throwing out the black players who insulted everyone but were outstanding athletes and made him win the games? Sports is about winning and I have learned that a long time ago.

Everything is about success and money with basketball so to play Joan of Arc because Sterling said bad words in his bathtub borders on the ridiculous.

They say that Sterling has a history of racism.

In a 2009 wrongful-termination lawsuit that was eventually rejected by a jury, former Clippers general manager and NBA legend Elgin Baylor claimed that Sterling had a ‘’plantation mentality.’’

Apparently, Sterling said to him, I would like to have a white Southern coach coaching poor black players. This statement could be interpreted in so many different ways that it is not even funny.

To compare him to a plantation owner is an insult to all the black slaves that ever worked at picking cotton. If they had been paid the salaries of modern athletes, they would have bought their own plantation.

In 2006, the Department of Justice brought housing-discrimination charges against Sterling for allegedly refusing to rent to African-Americans at his Los Angeles residential complexes. The suit was settled three years later for $2.75 million. Sterling avoided any admission of liability.

His companies controlled huge swaths of homes and apartments in Southern California, and some say his actions are what both directly and indirectly force minority families to stay in dangerous, blighted neighborhoods with poor school districts and limited opportunities.

buildingsI have worked for a Rental company that asked us to put application in the garbage if they were from poor applicants because they had problems with them in the past. I hated that practice and it should not exist but it does. The decisions about his rental apartments were no doubt made by his managers not unlike big clothing companies hiring independent contractors who end up using children at extremely low wages. Most big businesses are guilty of something.

But if we were to talk with building owners all over the US, they might have similar prejudices not because of racism, but because of bad experiences with a socioeconomical group of tenants. So they make blanket statements instead of going case by case.

In 2005, his company agreed to settle a similar racial discrimination suit for an undisclosed sum – “one of the largest ever obtained in this type of case,” according to the judge – and a reported $5 million in plaintiff legal fees.

This is how rich people usually deal with lawsuits. They settle them without any admission of guilt if the fees to defend themselves exceed the settlement. And most wealthy people get sued for multiple reasons. Some say that he should have fought just to establish he was not a racist but your attorneys will always advise you to settle even a frivolous suit if it is too costly.

If you want to settle that kind of problems, you launch a civil suit but you don’t force them to sell their company and try them in the court of public opinion.

We should take trucks and start rounding out rich white people who did not do the right thing while hiring employees. While we are at it, let’s arrest black people who only hire black employees. When you think of it, it could apply to the Jewish people who were known to employ and support their own. How dare they?

David Sterling is 80 year-old and is the product of his upbringing. He has not mistreated or badmouthed any of his black players through the years. And he has not done it on this tape either. He is asking his girlfriend to be discreet but to frequent them as much as she wants.

He is telling her she does not get it because he has to live in the real world. Should he be a universal model and stand against racism? We should all be. But real life does not work this way. And it is not on his contract as a basketball team owner to spread the gospel. He should be allowed to express his opinions at home. Freedom of speech is for everyone.

He has done his job well and has never been seen or heard insulting an athlete belonging to his Club. He says in the tape that Magic Johnson is a person to be admired.

If I check all the rich suits who own or manage sports team, will I find them on a soap box making speeches against racism? Of course not. This is a business and not the United Nations.

Now, Donald Sterling’s former wife Shelly, has come out saying she does not share the racist views of her husband. She stated “Our family is devastated by the racist comments made by my estranged husband.  My children and I do not share these despicable views or prejudices.” And she said, “We are doing everything in our power to stand by and support our Clippers team.” Shelly was at Sunday’s playoff game and flew back with the team.  But it is worth noting that she has been estranged from Donald for years and months ago, she hired attorney Laura Wasser to file a civil suit against Donald’s girlfriend Stiviano. Their divorce is imminent and Shelly has been fuming since their adult son died of an overdose more than a year ago and she accused her former husband of being more interested in Stiviano than grieving with the family. He was finding comfort in the arms of his girlfriend instead of with her.

Sherry Sterling

Sherry Sterling

So we have a scorned woman who would do anything to hurt the Donald. Interesting to say the least that she was married for the longest time with him and did not seem to be bothered by his ‘racism’ until he hooked up with a black/Hispanic lady and gave her generous gifts.

V. Stiviano is a strange one who has been basking in the spotlight since the tape came out. She insists that she never had sex with Sterling and that she did not mean any harm. She also declared ‘I will be the President of the United States one day.’ Enough said.

tsiviano-with-visorCan you imagine if everything you ever said had been secretly recorded and played in public? His comments were definitely offensive and do deserve to be examined but it was just talk and he would have to walk the walk for it to become our business.

And all these rappers talking about killing people, raping women and calling white people crackers are now expressing outrage? This is beyond hypocritical. People like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and President Obama jumping on the bandwagon is nonsense. Basketball is the playing ground of the rich and not the Deep South. Most rational people have moved on even if they do not agree with this man’s comments.

Sterling is a very generous man and some have decided to refuse or return the donations of this benefactor. How far fetched is this? A lot of donations are anonymous and could originate from unethical people. But for the sake of political correctness, they will deprive hospitals and charity organizations from well needed funds to make a point?

sterling-homelessIt reminds me of a charity that refused money given to them by a group of hard working exotic dancers with their heart at the right place. When you start playing the ‘I’m better than you’ game, it can rapidly turn into a boomerang game. It will come back to hit you in the face.

Donald Sterling is no saint but he is not the devil either. It is illegal to tape people without their knowledge and it should have been what shocked people the most. What you say in your home is sacred and nobody else’s business.

Actions speak louder than words and I have not heard a black player complain about Sterling’s attitude before. They are handsomely paid and treated with kid gloves.

Most media outlets did not have the guts to defend him or at least show both sides of the coin because they are afraid to be fired for speaking up. This is how it works nowadays with social media. If people bombard the station with negative comments, you are toast.

Donald Sterling has been used as a scapegoat and I would not be surprised if it was all planned to get rid of him by the powers that be and not at all because of his mild comments. It is all about money I am sure and they knew that by using the race card, they would succeed.

They have created a very dangerous precedent. By making this man persona non grata, Americans do not realize that it flies in the face of their complaint against the NSA spying on them. Now let’s apply the same rules to all of us by taping every conversation we have in the comfort of our home and play them in public. Let the games begin!