JOE BIDDLE: Donald Sterling won't sell without fight - WKRN News 2

JOE BIDDLE: Donald Sterling won't sell without fight

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA in response to racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA in response to racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation.
It’s dangerous to tangle with an 80-year-old coot that has more money than the man in the moon.

We’re talking about Donald Sterling, who had his legs taken out from under him by new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after racist comments in a telephone conversation between Sterling and a gal-pal named V. were leaked to the media.

The commissioner handed down the most severe penalty he could within the NBA limits.

Sterling was fined $2.5 million, which was the maximum he could have received. To him, that’s like a gnat on an elephant’s back.

Sterling was banned for life from the NBA, the Clippers and any functions that have anything to do with either. Banned for life sounds tough, but c’mon man, the dude is 80 years old. How long is a lifetime ban going to last for him? He could go at any time.

They are going to attempt to make him sell the Clippers franchise. Now that’s where the can of worms opens. You can bet the farm Donald Sterling will meet the NBA in court. He is an attorney who loves litigation.

Does the NBA have enough hard evidence to prove he broke any law? After all he was taped, we believe without his knowledge, which in a number of states is illegal.

What he said was racist, but so was what former NBA star Larry Johnson said when he suggested all the black NBA players should leave the NBA and form an all-black league.

I believe Sterling has enough ammunition to drag this thing through the court system until his final breath. What good will that do either side?

Players on the Clippers definitely don’t want to play for the team as long as Sterling is the owner. The coaches don’t want to coach the Clippers as long as Sterling is the owner.

For years, he made money on the backs of players who came cheap, from coaches who took less salary than many of their peers. They were the laughingstock of the NBA until recently.

And, if players and coaches realized Sterling was a racist, none of them did anything about it.

I certainly won’t defend Sterling, or what he said during his conversation. I believe that is who he is. This is the wrong era to hold that deep a prejudice against other races and put it out in the open. Yes, it’s a country that sometimes foregoes freedom of speech for political correctness.

That doesn’t mean there are no more Donald Sterlings that own professions sports franchises. That doesn’t mean those who share his feelings are going to change their ways. Many of them are in Sterling’s age group and were brought up inheriting bias and racism.

It has been handed down for generations. Think of the brawls Irish immigrants encountered when they came to America. You can add the Italians, and after World War II, the Germans and especially the Japanese.

Do I wish it wasn’t this way? Yes.

But when I see Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton get on television and rant and rave about blacks being murdered by a white person, only to hide in the background after whites are murdered by blacks, I wonder where their outrage is then? It should be the same for everyone.

The NBA did all it could to ruin Donald Sterling’s life. He brought it on himself, deserved what he got. But racism isn’t confined to any one race. We’ve still got a long way to go.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at  

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