When an alleged racist tirade by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was released over the last weekend, the sporting world was sent into an uproar. On Tuesday afternoon, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that Sterling will be banned for life, fined $2.5 million and the NBA Board of Directors will be urged to force the sale of the Clippers. These repercussions are far from a slap on the wrist, and come after years and years of egregious actions by Sterling.
Possibly the most appalling actions that Sterling has been caught engaging in during recent years was a housing discrimination dispute relating to the selling of some of his apartment spaces in 2006. In this instance he specifically said vile and disgusting things about both African- and Korean-Americans, and the U.S. Department of Justice ended up suing him. The case ended up being settled for a then-record $2.3 million fine, which the NBA was somehow able to wipe under the rug and ignore.
But the egregious actions of Sterling do not begin and end with housing discrimination and brutal comments about bringing African-Americans to Clippers games. Former general manager Elgin Baylor sued the owner in 2009 for Age Discrimination; Sterling has repeatedly been spotted in extramarital affairs; and previous Clippers players have stated that he yelled racial epithets at them. Perhaps most tellingly of the matter is that no single person or former player has come to the defense of Sterling.
Thankfully for the fans and players of the Clippers, and the NBA as a whole, the era of Sterling is done and gone. This is a man who has time and again tarnished the brand of the NBA and the Clippers as a whole, and it is now time that Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and company are given the opportunity to make the fans proud, and go after the NBA title.