NBA commissioner Adam Silver was given a nightmare of an issue to rectify. The sports world was left in utter shock a few days ago when a leaked phone recording containing racist and ignorant remarks by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, revealed a disgusting side of him. His upset girlfriend posted pictures on her Instagram account with NBA legend Magic Johnson, he let her know she shouldn’t broadcast her affiliation with African-Americans or be seen in public with minorities. Once the NBA was able to verify it was absolutely Sterling in those phone conversations, Silver conjured up several options to take care of the consequences caused by Sterling’s horrendous comments.
With players of the Clippers protesting, sponsors dropping affiliations with the team and activists across the world looking for what kind of punishment would be given to Sterling by the NBA, Silver was able to deliver a powerful statement to the sports world. Racism will not be tolerated and anyone who condones it or is filled with such hatred should never have a place of power within sports.
In the grand scheme of things, who cares what color an athlete is? Whether you are black, white, hispanic, red, blue or purple, color should mean absolutely nothing. If you are able to share in the belief that your team can win a championship and contribute to that cause, your color doesn’t mean anything. It’s your hard work that matters most. Your heart matters more since that is what will drive you to victory. Above all, your character is what should be judged — not something as ignorant as the color of your skin to determine if you should be respected or not.
Silver needed to handle this entire ordeal with a heavy sentencing that would be big enough to send a clear message to racists who might still exist across the NBA. Racism is gone, and if it’s found it will be removed indefinitely. Silver issued a lifetime ban to Sterling in addition to the highest fine he could deliver at $2.5 million. All of that money will be donated to charities that help minorities develop into smart, hard-working and respected adults who will have the funding to truly make a difference in the world. In addition, Silver will make it his mission to have Sterling removed as an owner to ensure he sells his team to those who share in the vision of what the NBA is all about.
In the end, Silver has earned the respect of many across the world for how well he handled Sterling and his ignorance. Perhaps now, once and for all, it’s a big step into finally ending racism in the world. Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way; it just takes the right outlet to channel it.