Sports

Clippers owner Sterling Receives Lifetime Ban From The NBA

Clippers owner Sterling Receives Lifetime Ban From The NBA

By: Alex LaGrone

The new NBA commissioner, Adam Silver has placed a lifetime ban from the league on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Sterling's ban was due to a taped conversation between him and his girlfriend/personal assistant V. Stiviano. In the recording posted on TMZ, Sterling questioned his girlfriends association with minorities. V. Stiviano,  38 who is of black and Mexican descent posted a picture of herself with former LA Laker and Hall of Famer Magic Johnson on Instagram.

Sterling asked V. Stiviano not to broadcast her association with black people or bring black people to games. Sterling specifically mentioned Johnson on the recording saying "don't bring him to my games OK?". Sterling has been frequently criticized for his handling of the operation of the Clippers, also has been involved in several lawsuits over the years, including ones with accusation of discrimination.

In November, 2009 Sterling agreed to pay $2.73 million to settle allegations by the government that he refused to rent apartments to Hispanics and blacks and families with children. Former general manager of the Clippers Elgin Baylor's phone has been ringing off the hook lately because he too was part of Sterling's history of racial issues. Baylor sued Sterling back in February 2009 in LA Superior Court for wrongful termination and discrimination on the basis of age and race.

Baylor spent 22 years as Clippers GM before parting ways in 2008. Baylor alleged Sterling said he wanted the Clippers to be composed of "poor black boys from the South and a white coach". Baylor also claimed that his salary had been frozen at $350.000 a year since 2003 while the Caucasian head coach was given a four year 22 million dollar contract. In March 2011, a jury rejected Baylor's claim against any wrongdoing by Sterling.

Clippers president, Andy Rosen issued a statement indicating that V. Stiviano was being sued by the Sterling family and she told Sterling that she would "get even" with him. Earlier in March, Sterling's wife Rochelle sued Stiviano for return of a 1.8 million LA duplex, as well as a Ferrai, two Bentleys and a Range Rover she said her husband brought for Stiviano. The suit describes V. Stiviano as a seductress who targets wealthy older men like Sterling. V. Stiviano argues that Rochelle must have known that Sterling was having romantic relationships outside his marriage.

In 1961, 80 year old Sterling, who is Jewish, began his career as a divorce and personal injury attorney. He made significant financial gains through real estate investments before becoming owner of the Clippers.

Unfortunately, racism is an ugly fact of life.  Our views and beliefs develop as we grow up. If a child or young person grows up within a racist family or has friends who are racist, they may believe that racism is normal and acceptable. Sadly, this seems to be the case with Donald Sterling; and he had both the wealth and power to put into practice those beliefs. We must continue the fight by speaking truth to power.

 Note: Donald Sterling agreed to sell the Clippers. He has surrendered control of the Clippers to his estranged wife Shelly. Sterling purchased the Clippers for $12.5 million in 1981. The reported price tag now….$1 billion smackaroos. That might be asking a bit too much.

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