How Should the NBA Punish Donald Sterling?

During the past couple of days, Donald Sterling went from being an average owner of a sports team to a common household name.  Normally, becoming a household name is a good thing, but in this case it is not.  Sterling was caught on an audio tape making racist remarks towards blacks and minorities.  This has caused a public outrage from fans, players, analysts, other owners, and pretty much everyone.

This couldn’t have come at a worse time for the LA Clippers because they are currently in a tight playoff series with the Golden State Warriors.  Before one of the games, the players turned their warmups inside out in a silent protest of Donald Sterling’s comments.  Sponsors have come out and said they no longer want to be associated with the Clippers and that they were pulling their sponsorship.  The question is, what should or can the NBA do to punish Donald Sterling?

Sterling’s racially charged comments were made in private and just recorded.  They were made public later on.  Yes, the comments are horrible and ignorant, but can the NBA punish someone for making comments in private?  If everyone’s private conversations were made public, we would all be in some hot water with someone.  I am in no way defending Donald Sterling or the comments he made, but I am just not sure what the NBA can do.  Can they force him to sell the team?  I’m not sure, but there are some big decisions to be made.  This will be the first true test for the new NBA commissioner Adam Silver.  He’s got a lot of pressure on him to make the ‘right’ decision whatever that may be.


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