Racism Harms NBA Image

SARAH RICH

Arts & Entertainment Editor

image courtesy of Forbes

On Friday April 24th, audio was released by the celebrity gossip website TMZ of Donald Sterling, 33-year owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, making racist comments concerning an Instagram picture of Sterling’s girlfriend posing with Magic Johnson. The reaction was immediate and harsh. The story spread like wildfire throughout the media with support for both Sterling and the Clippers dropping rapidly. As a result, sponsors have been dropping the Clippers, Clippers players and players on other teams have been protesting, and the general public has been calling for the NBA to take action against Sterling.

Early morning on Tuesday April 29th, lawyers authenticated the nearly hour-long audio clip of Donald Sterling scolding his girlfriend for “associating with black people.” Later that same day, the commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, issued a lifetime ban against Sterling from the NBA, and he received a fine of $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed by the NBA Constitution.

“The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful,” said Silver at a news conference. “As for Mr. Sterling’s ownership interest in the Clippers, I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team and will do everything in my power to ensure that happens.”

The NBA has demonstrated extraordinary strength and resilience in light of this scandal, acting swiftly and effectively to correct the wrongs done by Donald Sterling. The $2.5 million fine will go toward tolerance and anti-discrimination organizations selected by the NBA board and Player’s Association.

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