It is no secret that athletes and owners alike make millions of dollars. With that, many throughout the years have been targets of extortion. Donald Sterling, the infamous soon-to-be ex-owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, might be the next target in a lawsuit. This time he is being accused of sexually harassing an ex-girlfriend and supposed employee. Considering the current circumstances though, it makes one wonder if these are legit allegations or it is merely an ex-lover trying to take advantage of his controversy and wealth.
The latest case against Sterling comes from Maiko Maya King, a woman who he was involved with from 2005 to 2011. In the case, the ex-mistress, who is multiracial, stated that the billionaire would often speak in racial and sexist slurs to her. According to King, during their relationship, which happened to coincide with Sterling’s relationship with V. Stiviano, the two would argue about racism. As is not so different from his conversations from Stiviano, King says that Sterling was trying to keep her away from African Americans.
Furthermore, King stated that Sterling would tell her that he would only give her money if she would sleep with him. Sterling’s lawyer, Bobby Samini, has dismissed the claims. Samini stated how King’s suit was ridiculous, considering the woman never worked for Sterling. As such, he believes the ex-lover is taking the opportunity to get money out of his client due to all of the current controversy surrounding the billionaire.
This is where the story is questionable. The situation of King suing Sterling is incredibly coincidental. His name has been one of the key plotlines of the NBA postseason. His controversial comments caused every player, owner, and fan to state their opinion on his quotes.
Truth be told, in a league that has a high percentage of non-white players, Sterling probably should not be part of the NBA. Another truth is that Sterling has a long history of being a racist, from not allowing minorities to take residents in his owned apartment complexes, to forcing former player and GM Elgin Baylor out of a job due to his race. However, no one truly went on the bandwagon of being anti-Sterling until after the recordings with Stiviano made the light of day. Never before were players stating how they may not show up to play due to Sterling’s comments. Yet, prior to those comments, players knew he was a racist and they were taking his money.
It is very possible that this woman could have been subjected to additional racist treatment from Sterling, but this scenario is very suspicious. King never would have come forward with these comments had Sterling not been caught. Another important element is that the supposed sexual harassment took place many years ago. She knows he is under a lot of fire due to his controversial remarks. She also knows that when the team is sold that he will be getting a piece of the $2 billion price tag sold to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. As such, it would not be out of the realm of possibility that she is taking advantage of the situation.
There is no denying that Sterling is a shady character. Evidence through the years, particularly after the controversial phone recordings, has proved that. However, just because Donald Sterling is a racist, does not mean that he sexually harassed this woman who used to be his lover, despite the supposed controversial remarks stated in a lawsuit. This simply could be a plot to get more money out of the billionaire, bottom line. However, at the same time he could have acted as malicious as she states. Regardless, this will be another tricky ruling for the judge.
Commentary by Simon Mounsey