It has now been a few days since the tape that recorded who is believed to be Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, saying racist and discriminatory statements about black people to his mistress was leaked. The reactions have been furious to say the least. In a league dominated by African American men and driven by African American stars, that is of now surprise.
Between the time TMZ released the tape and today, both Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan have publicly and furiously stated that Sterling has no place in the NBA and should not be allowed to be an owner in this league. LeBron James of the Miami Heat has stated similarly after a post-game interview two days ago, and commissioner Adam Silver is now directing an investigation against Sterling. Even the players of his own team had their own protest. Before their game yesterday against the Golden State Warriors, the players all gathered in the middle of the court and removed their warm-up shirts with the Clippers logo and warmed up in their practice shirts turned inside out to hide the team name printed on it.
However, at the end of the day, what can the NBA do to get rid of this man? The most they can do is suspend him and find him a million dollars, which is the maximum the NBA can fine someone in the Association. But surely, with all the outrage within the league to get rid of this man, something has to be done.
In my opinion, the answer lies with corporate sponsors. I think all of those companies do not want to be represented by someone who is a blatant racist, and are going to threaten to quit doing business with him. I think that the players and coach Doc Rivers also come into play. With the way that they reacted and Doc Rivers, who is not only the coach but is in charge of all basketball operations, pondering his return next season, I believe ultimately Sterling will be force out one way or the other.
One thing is for sure, in a league that is pretty much 80% African American, there is absolutely no place for someone like Donald Sterling. He must go. The quicker the better.