Donald Sterling has been a highlight of multiple media sites and shows this week after his racist remarks caught on tape were released. Yesterday, the NBA announced that he is banned. Moreover, he has been given a fine that would shatter the bank accounts of most Americans.
Sterling’s voice was on tape talking to his girlfriend, a female mixed with family roots from both Mexico and African American heritage. Sterling, who is owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, a team that is a melting pot of personalities and backgrounds, told his girlfriend that it is acceptable to sleep with minorities but not to broadcast these relationships. He claimed disdain toward her having persons of ethnic backgrounds in her photos and on social media sites.
Sterling was also caught calling minorities and African American persons “the enemy.” This encounter was not Sterling’s first. Previous accounts of his racism and closed mindedness had been noted, none of which grabbed the attention of the mainstream media or mediation the way his current comments have. The NBA released a statement today banning Sterling for life, and issued him a fine $2.5 million.
Donald Sterling, who is now 80 years old, has a net worth of $1.9 billion, so the fine is not likely to break his bank account, nor is the ban for life likely to be a long punishment. Not to say that persons do not live long past his age, but that his punishment should have come long ago when his first racist remarks were made known. Sterling has not yet released an official statement in response.
The fine will be donated to anti-discrimination groups. The majority NBA players stance on the matter was seen as they were willing to boycott the playoffs if action was not taken quickly. The quick response to the current offense shows progression from prior events.
NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, when releasing the information regarding the fine and ban, also stated that he will recommend a sale of the the Clippers to the NBA Board of Governors immediately. Silver also added that he will do all that he can to ensure this happens quickly. In response to the previous prejudice driven allegations, Silver had stated that those cases had been closely watched by the league.
Sterling, a man with a history of saying all the wrong things, will now live out his life with a little less money but with a lot more people paying attention to the remarks he makes.
Donald Sterling, banned not only from the NBA, but hopefully boycotted by many American’s who have heard his remarks.
He is a small minded, older, opinionated man who is, at least now, being held accountable for his actions. It will be interesting to see what he has to say for himself in the future. Hopefully Donald Sterling will start to step into the twenty first century and see that equality is here now, and is something that always should have been.
The NBA and society as a whole needs to pay closer attention and take prompt action in terms of behavior unfitting of a sportsman sooner than later.
Opinion By Latasha Alvaro