Donald Sterling went from a low-key owner to the most talked about owner in NBA history over the course of one year’s time. His controversial racial remarks sparked a chain reaction that recently led to his forced selling of the Los Angeles Clippers for $2.5 billion. There’s no question that Sterling was wrong for his comments, but I — as an African-American male — believe that he didn’t get fair treatment from the NBA on the matter.
The NBA itself endorses criminals on a daily basis. Kobe Bryant is known to some as the guy who raped a woman and still got to continue playing basketball — an action that should have warranted a lifetime ban. I’m a huge Bryant fan, but fair is fair. The NBA picks and chooses who is allowed to take part in their billion dollar industry and that’s unfair to people like Sterling. Although Sterling is currently banned, the NBA should rethink the decision, especially since Sterling is suing the company for a billion dollars — a lawsuit I believe that Sterling will win.
Players like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman and Allen Iverson were caught in the middle of plenty of sinful scandals during their careers, but the NBA continued to endorse them. The NBA dished out a more than harsh punishment on Sterling, who committed no crime. The NBA did what was best for their business, and that’s all this situation comes down to. Even if they lost the lawsuit, they’d still be pleased with the outcome because they’d be open to more fines and problems if Sterling were still the owner of the Clippers.
When star players like LeBron James threaten to sit out due to an owner’s racist remarks, then it is in the league’s best interest to keep that star player in uniform, even if it is for an unjust reason such as punishing a man for his own personal beliefs.
The NBA has had plenty of situations — like Bryant rape case — to ban someone for life, but they didn’t act on the basis that it’d cost them money and television ratings. Today’s world has become a place where it isn’t okay to be yourself and the NBA’s decision to ban Sterling proves this.
I may be the only African-American person in favor of Sterling in this case, but I know right from wrong. Hopefully, the NBA will change how they handle these cases, but it’s too late for them to fix what’s already been broken.