It’s still shocking to me that ignorance and racism still exists to the extent it does in the world today. That’s why I was very happy to see how the NBA responded to the comments allegedly made by Donald Sterling, the owner of the LA Clippers. Sterling made a series of racist comments that were recorded by his former girlfriend V. Stiviano, and that recording went viral just days ago. Here is that recording:
Sterling’s comments shocked the public and upset the basketball team, which is currently in the NBA play-offs.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers responded after the tape came out saying he and the team were not happy about it. “This is a situation where we’re trying to go after something very important for us. Something that we’ve all dreamed about all our childhoods,” he said. “Donald or anyone else had nothing to do with that dream and we’re not going to let anything get in the way of those dreams.”
He added, “Our goal is to win the NBA title and we’re not going to let anything stand in the way of that. That’s adversity that we didn’t want but we have it and we have to deal with it.”
The Clippers staged a silent protest at the next game they played. They wore their Clippers T-shirts inside out and wore black wristbands, armbands and socks during the game.
The public was outraged and many celebrities and business people voiced their opinions. Like Mark Cuban. He put it bluntly, “What Donald said was wrong. It was abhorrent. There’s no place for racism in the NBA, any business I’m associated with, and I don’t want to be associated with people who have that position.”
President Obama also responded when asked what he thought of Sterling’s comments. “When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk,” Obama said of Sterling’s “incredibly offensive racist statements”. The president added that “we constantly have to be on guard on racial attitudes that divide us rather than embracing our diversity as a strength.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver didn’t waste any time coming back with the League’s response.
Firstly, he apologized on behalf of the NBA for Sterling’s offensive comments. Then he banned Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers or the NBA!
Sterling was fined $2.5 million dollars. All the funds will be donated to anti-discrimination organizations.
Sterling cannot attend any NBA games or practices, he can’t go to any Clippers facility and he can’t participate in any business or player personnel decisions for the Clippers
Silver also said he wants to force Sterling to sell the franchise he currently owns. This could happen through an owners’ vote. “I fully expect to get the support I need from the owners to remove him,” Silver said.
The reaction to Adam Silver’s announcement has been overwhelmingly positive. Players have thanked Silver for his actions.
Ellen DeGeneres tweeted, “There is no amount of money that excludes you from treating other people with respect. Thank you, Adam Silver.”
Magic Johnson tweeted, “The people who I’m happiest for are Coach Doc Rivers, the Clippers players and fans.” He summarized best what people have felt through the entire fiasco, “There’s no place in our society for it, there’s no place in our league.”
And this is how the Clippers’ website looked after the NBA announcement.
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