Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has often been accused of being a racist — thanks to sworn testimony and affidavits — but until recently, there wasn’t a whole lot of audio/visual proof of it. But on April 25th, TMZ released a audio recording that is allegedly Sterling going on a nine minute diatribe about black people to his girlfriend. This alleged proof of Sterling’s racist activities is going to prove a major test for NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
According to the TMZ article, Sterling went off on his girlfriend because she posted a picture to Instagram where she is hanging out with an African-American in LA. The article has him complaining about how she was associating with him, and was putting that picture out where everyone can see it (she has since taken the photo down). Sterling is even quoted as telling her to not take black people to his games, including Magic Johnson — a NBA Hall of Famer and HIV/AIDS patient.
This isn’t the first time that Sterling has been accused of racism, as he has faced several lawsuits regarding comments regarding tenants at some of the housing complexes he owns. But this is the first time there is alleged proof of the racist comments and actions. And that means that the NBA actually has to deal with this allegation (*cough..cough* investigate it *cough…cough*) instead of ignoring it like the other ones.
Under previous commissioner David Stern, the repeated legal challenges about Sterling’s racist policies/practices went unchallenged by the league offices. Stern’s in ability to punish the NBA’s owners, and the Clippers sucktitude, had a lot do with the league’s inability to punish Sterling. But now the Clippers are actually relevant to the league’s image, thanks to the team’s exciting playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.
Now is the time for Silver to insert his control over the league and make his own mark on the owners. After all, it does not reflect well on the league when one of its owners is openly making it impossible for his team to function in the local community, and the national one — especially after the whole George Shinn debacle.
Therefore it is time for Silver to put is foot down and insert the dubious “best interest of the league” clause, thus booting Sterling out of the league.