The ramifications for NBA owner Donald Sterling‘s racist rants could have ended in a number of ways, but a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine from commissioner Adam Silver is a fair and wise judgement.
While Silver cannot make Sterling sell his team, he stated that he was going to strongly urge the Board of Governors to force Sterling to sell the organization. This issue has unfortunately overshadowed the terrific season of the Los Angeles Clippers, but fans and players are impressed with the quick and firm decision handed down by Silver. While this issue is far from resolved, it is a step in the right direction for the league.
Luckily for the Clippers, fans are removed from an awkward situation. Many individuals wanted to protest Sterling by not attending the playoffs and hurting his ticket sales, but that of course would punish the players who were caught in the middle of this controversy. Obviously the players were just as offended as everyone else who heard Sterling’s comments, but they deserved to be in the playoffs and should have never considered not playing. Silver helped solve this by banning the 80-year-old owner from any involvement with his team.
The important lesson to take from this is that Silver is not punishing the team. If the commissioner really wanted to stick it to everyone, he would have banned the Clippers from receiving draft picks. That reaction would show that he was trying too hard to show his power, and he would have given the NBA an even worse image than it has currently. Again, the players have done nothing wrong, and the team can start to heal.
Even though most people were surprised by such a quick resolution, the decision by Silver proves that he has the foresight and intelligence to run the NBA.