Donald Sterling Isn’t the Only Person Who Deserves to be Punished

By Michael Terrill

Let me point out that I fully support NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fine him the maximum penalty of $2.5 million for his outrageous racist remarks. With that being said, I also strongly believe that Sterling’s girlfriend, V. Stiviano, deserves a harsh penalty as well as she’s far from innocent in this entire ordeal.

As wrong as Sterling was, and he was absolutely wrong, at what point do we ask ourselves who else was wrong? The only reason we know what Sterling said was because he was illegally recorded by his girlfriend, who then turned the audio recording over to the media. Is the attention span of the general public so short that we have already forgotten how the NSA has been allegedly taking away our freedoms as American citizens by listening in to our phone conversations and violating our rights to privacy?

I was just as upset as everyone else was when I heard the audio recording. Sterling’s comments are disgusting, embarrassing and downright ancient. The American dream is equality, something we have become very close to achieving. People like Sterling are the final domino that must fall in order for that dream to become a reality for the sake of our children. Racism will not be tolerated in our society. It does not matter how much wealth or the social status one has achieved, it simply will not be accepted.

By banning Sterling for life, it shows how serious the NBA is about ensuring that everyone is treated equal. The league also is employing a no tolerance policy, which certainly has to open the eyes of many. It is the way it should be in every business, no matter how big or how small.

Even though Silver has made huge strides with his decision, he has opened the door for something else that is alarming. Sterling’s comments became public knowledge through the use of an illegal tactic. The reason the NBA has the right to ban him for life is only because of the evidence that they came into contact with, evidence that was created illegally.

I am sure Stiviano has been fed up with how Sterling talks about people of different color, especially since she herself is a minority. However, to think that the 100 hours of audio recording was done for the sole purpose of showing the world what an old racist looks like, better think again. There was a clear-cut motive behind Stiviano making the recordings. The worst part is it most likely worked. She’s probably going to get a book deal as well as be paid a small fortune for her inside take. Reality television is a mere stepping-stone away.

Sterling made comments in the privacy of his own home with someone who he thought he could trust. Even though the players, coaches and employees of the Clippers organization are better off knowing that Sterling is a racist, it still doesn’t make it right the way we all found out. Stiviano had no right to make the audio recordings, and she definitely does not have the right to profit off the recordings.

As far as I am concerned, Sterling got what he had coming. In fact, his fine and ban should have happened a long time ago. But to sit idly by and pretend that Stiviano deserves to get away freely is irresponsible.

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