People Are Calling for Fans to Boycott the L.A. Clippers. Do Boycotts Actually Work?

How boycott research explains Donald Sterling's NBA ban.

The outrage over L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling's racist remarks, caught on tape and published by TMZ over the weekend, has basically consumed the Internet over the last few days. People are angry and offended, and they're saying so. They're also calling for action. It looks like they just got it: This afternoon, the National Basketball Association (NBA) hit Sterling with a multimillion-dollar fine as well as a lifetime ban

This comes just hours before Clippers are set to play a tie-breaking fifth playoff game tonight against the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

It wasn't the only action that people have talked about. Yesterday, before news broke of the suspension, Warriors coach Mark Jackson had strongly suggesting that basketball fans should stay away. "If it was me, I wouldn't come to the game. I believe as fans, the loudest statement they could make as far as fans is to not show up to the game," he said, according to the New York Daily News.

He's not the only who has talked about a fan boycott. Former Lakers player, and co-owner of baseball's L.A. Dodgers, Magic Johnson has called for a boycott, and the idea has come up on ESPN radio shows. There's a twitter hashtag making the rounds: #BoycottClippers.

How loud a statement can fans really make with a boycott? To put it another way: Do consumer-led boycotts actually work? To some extent, it depends on how you define success. Judged by their economic effects, they typically don’t have much of an impact. But as Donald Sterling's harsh punishment shows, a corporation's concern for its reputation, apart from negative financial effects, means that even the threat of a boycott can still make a difference. 

Researchers have studied the effects of boycotts on the marketplace for decades, and what most have concluded is that consumer boycotts just don't have much negative effect on the target company's bottom line. Indeed, there's some evidence of a positive impact: A 1997 study by three researchers at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) found that, in fact, the value of target firms increased by an average of 0.76 percent on the day that news of a boycott became public, and a smaller increase of 0.55 percent the day a boycott was threatened.

Consumer boycotts have obviously changed a lot since 1997. But so far, there's no research indicating that the Internet is making boycotts more economically powerful. A 2012 follow-up study from one of the FAU researchers, which examined boycotts started online between 2004 and 2008, found that the stock market doesn't tend to react negatively to the presence of web-based boycotts.

In other words, boycotts generally don't do much to hurt corporate pocketbooks. But that doesn't mean they can't make an impact in other ways. Boycotts can be an effective tool for exerting social pressure, even when the financial impact is small.

As Brayden King of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University noted back in 2009, "A lot of research in the past has shown that they don't necessarily affect their targets' bottom lines that much. And it's not clear that boycotts affect consumer behavior very much. But those boycotts that get some level of media attention are relatively successful in terms of getting some sort of concession out of their targets."

The impact comes from the negative public relations hit, not a sagging bottom line. "Boycotters' influence stems from their ability to make negative claims about the corporation that generate negative public perceptions of the corporation," King's research finds. "Hence, corporations that are already struggling to maintain their previously positive reputations will be more likely to concede to boycotts and quell any further damage the boycott may do to their reputation."

The issue isn't money. It's perception and reputation. Which is probably why firms with strong reputations seem to generate a lot more media attention in response to boycotts. In a 2011 study, King looked at national media coverage of 133 boycotts organized between 1990 and 2005. Boycotts that went after well-liked firms with strong reputations generated a lot more media coverage—about 4.4 times as much as firms with no reputation and three times as much as those with poor reputations.

How does the growth of social media change all this? That's harder to say, but a reasonable assumption is that many of the factors that have shaped offline consumer protests in the past will continue to do so in the future. A #BoycottLakers hashtag likely won't have a big impact on the Clippers' bottom line, but if it keeps going, then over time the reputational drag will build—especially in combination with all the negative coverage in other media. There's a reason that so many companies have invested in social media representation in recent years; they care a lot about what people are saying online, and how those conversations affect corporate reputation.

Corporations aren't the only ones responding to social pressure where boycotts are concerned, however. The consumers involved in a protest are also being pushed and pulled by larger social influences. 

A 2003 paper published in the journal of Management Science looked at the individual end of the puzzle, and asked what motivated consumers to make personal sacrifices in order to participate in boycotts, despite the minimal likely impact from any one consumer's boycott. The authors actually make a comparison to voting, where the activity of any one individual is unlikely to make a significant difference. One possibility raised by the study: Boycotts are an expressive act that occur at least partially in response to larger group actions, with boycotts gathering energy the more people that participate. It's about social positioning. Consumers often participate in boycotts because they care what other people think about them. And when companies respond, it's often for the same reason.

Indeed, it's possible that actual boycotts themselves don't matter so much as talking about them. The 1997 FAU study found that "the effects of actual boycotts are not significantly different from those of threats of boycott." And despite the lack of negative financial effects, boycotts might still be useful protest tools. "The negative public relations that they generate can exact their toll on the good citizenship of the target firms as well as result in negative publicity for them.” 

Which offers a pretty good explanation of how we got to where we are now. And it suggests that when Warriors coach Mark Jackson said that fans could make a statement by staying away from tonight's game, he was actually describing more action than was necessary: Just by talking about a boycott, on Twitter and in the press, the statement had already been made. 

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  • Hugh Akston||

    I don't know about y'all, but I'm on Team Kareem.

  • Jerry on the sea||

    I'm on team Champions League. --No spoilers.

  • Ted S.||

    I hope you're happy.

  • Duke||

    “She was like a sexy nanny playing ‘pin the fried chicken on the Sambo.’ She blindfolded him and spun him around until he was just blathering all sorts of incoherent racist sound bites that had the news media peeing themselves with glee.”

  • BakedPenguin||

    Wow. That's a really good statement. Kareem is 100% correct, both in that Sterling's sleazery should have been noticed earlier, and that his is not the only brand of scumbaggery in all this.

  • John||

    Kareem has always been a very thoughtful and smart guy. He is definitely on the opposite end of the political spectrum from me but I have always respected and like him and thought him to be anything but your typical dumb jock.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    That near-bankruptcy really brought Kareem to his senses.

  • John||

    He is a dedicated and and far as I know unapologetic pot smoker too.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    A while back, he got in trouble with the local mosque because he was cast in a beer commercial.

    He did it anyway.

  • John||

    He also became an actual Muslim back in the 60s. That took a lot of guts. He didn't become a nation of Islam cultist like Muhammad Ali. That would have been easier since it would have bought him a lot of street creed with the black community. He became a real Muslim when almost no one in America was one.

    And he had probably the best scene and lines in Airplane. "Hey kid you tell your dad to play 48 minutes dragging Walton and Lanier up and down the court."

  • mr simple||

    Roger, Roger.

  • ||

    Wow, that is amazing. I may have just become a Kareem fan.

  • XM||

    Kareem excused Sterling's racist behavior by accurately portraying the girlfriend as a gold digger who baited Sterling's racist remarks. He even echoed right wing paranoia about NSA snooping into our privacy. Did the GOP pay you to bring up tangential issues like privacy, which distract the NBA from defeating racism?

    Kareem is a enabler of racism, and I'll never buy Just for Men hair gels again. Or whatever product for old men he endorses.

  • Almanian!||

    OK, this story has now, officially, been beaten to fucking death.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    In the next room my dad is watching SportsCenter and I just heard him say "Alright, shut up already!" about Stephen A. Smith who was really going off on Sterling and racism.

  • flye||

    Well to be fair, that's a legitimate response to Stephen A Smith talking about anything. Or really to any SportsCenter story that isn't highlights of games.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Time to mosquerbate.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Hopefully this is it, and we're done.

    On the other hand, TMZ has pulled in a shitload of hits and ad revenue since this weekend, so I doubt they are going to let it go quietly.

  • mr simple||

    A man has private beliefs, therefore the fans should suffer! Shocking that the opposing coach doesn't want the fans to show up. His team should just be put through to the next round on principle!

    Also, it's "If it were me," Mark.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Great alt-text Pete.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Alt-alt-text: Silver Sterling on Sterling Situation

  • widget||

    Vindictive crazy chick FTW.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    There was a guy on my Facebook feed, whom I hate but feel I have to keep an eye on, who has been repeatedly calling for the Clippers players to boycott. Included were references to slavery and the plantation.

    It is quite possibly the stupidest idea I've heard in '14. If the players refuse to play, they will lose millions. These are guys who have maybe 10 years of earning potential if they are lucky, and little other prospects for income after retirement. And they are supposed to give up millions for stupid ass racial politics?

  • Brett L||

    I'm sure he set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to offset their lost earnings, right?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Nope. Just a link to this article:
    http://gawker.com/black-people.....1568673014

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    And for the record, for $10 million a year, I would gladly play for the Clippers in a My Little Pony costume, complete with rainbow horse hair butt plug, while the crowd throws rotten eggs at me.

  • JW||

    Go on...

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    OK, maybe $5 Mil.

  • pmains||

    No! No! They haven't even made a counter-offer yet. Don't show weakness!

  • Sudden||

    See, this is why if I was a super billionaire, I'd never bother buying a real sports team (except my Chiefs because they're the greatestest), but would instead use my money to pay people with no multi-millionaire marketable skills to do insane and degrading shit on camera for millions to watch.

  • flye||

    Make sure you're the bank and not the host, because otherwise some criminal in hiding may take offense to your treatment of his daughter and come tattoo and pierce your face for you.

  • The Last American Hero||

    So you'd bring back Fear Factor?

  • pmains||

    When do you expect to hear back from the Clippers on your offer?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I dunno. When are tryouts?

  • Jackand Ace||

    Interesting that the boycott is called for by some who are drawing paychecks in the NBA. So, everyone is for standing on principle. Then why would the players themselves not stand on principle and refuse to play? They have a contract? They could be fined?

    To them, of course, the only ones who should lose money on the deal are the fans. They have already bought the tickets, and since its a playoff game, the prices they paid were hefty, to say the least. But, according to some in the NBA, its those people who should flush their money down the drain, not the players or the NBA. Will Silver reimburse them for those tickets? I doubt it.

    If they wanted a boycott, they should have told anyone who did not go to the game and turned in a ticket that they would get reimbursed. But of course, that would require standing on principle.

  • John||

    I for one am way out in front of this. I have been boycotting the NBA for nearly 20 years. I stand with the players on this and will continue to boycott their over expanded low skill star driven basketball.

  • From the Tundra||

    I think it's nice that there are games for people who can't skate.

  • John||

    I love basketball but basketball in this country has been in the toilet for going on 20 years. The great players are still great. The quality of the average NBA player has generally gone to shit. Players no longer learn the game from skilled and knowledgeable high school coaches. They spend their youth playing for AAU teams coached by used car salesman hucksters. They then spend a year or two killing time in college and go on to the NBA without developing elite basketball skills.

    The NBA is generally a terrible place to learn how to play basketball. If you are a true great like Kobe Bryant or La Bron James, it doesn't matter. If you are an average pro it matters a lot. Players are more athletic than they used to be but their overall understanding of the game and basketball skills are much worse. The quality of play in the average NBA game has never been lower in my lifetime.

  • RBS||

    There was a tournament showcase at my gym (city recreation center) a few weeks ago. I can't believe parents actually trust these coaches with their kids.

  • John||

    If you are a kid who has won the genetic lottery such that you even have the basic physical attributes to have a shot at the NBA, you can spend your entire childhood never being held accountable. Those kids are recruited to AAAU teams from the time they are ten. And if they don't like what the coach has to say, there is always another coach waiting to take them.

    It is easy to say that the current players are just knuckleheads. I don't think that is fair. The whole system is set up to pamper them and never hold them accountable from the very beginning. How many of us would learn anything in such an environment? I probably wouldn't have.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I read you loud and clear, buddy. Male figure skating is awesome.

  • John||

    Stop it Playa. You know Tarran is all about the pairs and ice dancing.

  • From the Tundra||

    It's the costumes, man. And the interesting backstories of the skaters. Can't get enough.

  • Brian||

    Jackhand Ace:

    If they wanted a boycott, they should have told anyone who did not go to the game and turned in a ticket that they would get reimbursed. But of course, that would require standing on principle.

    I like your idea of principles, Jackhand. Let me see if I can try another example:

    "If they wanted free healthcare for everyone, they should have told anyone who wanted free healthcare to show up so that they, personally, could give them their own money to buy the healthcare. But of course, that would require standing on principle."

    Works rather well. Let's run with that as our idea of principles.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Guess I must have riled your feathers once or twice.

    So let's see...boycotting a product is the same as offering a product.

    Right.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Actually, I meant ruffled, not riled.

    And I also meant to say

    Riiiiiight.

  • Jackand Ace||

    See, here is the comparison you meant to make.

    The GOP and Lino's tried their best to encourage the populace to boycott the exchanges, because you know, the ACA was never going to offer a viable product, and it was unconstitutional. And they tried that, along with you.

    But oh wait, 7M ignored you. So much for an effective boycott.

  • John||

    Fans would have boycotted the NBA over this just like they were going to boycott baseball after the strike canceled the Word Series. If there has ever been a fan boycott that lasted or had any effect, I can't think of it.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    There are fan boycotts, but they aren't organized. They are the result of team sucking/ownership the fans don't trust driving the fans away.

  • John||

    I guess Chrysler really didn't go bankrupt. They were just the victim of an unorganized customer boycott.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Customers do tend to boycott shitty products.

  • Sudden||

    Then why hasn't the NBA boycott surfaced until now?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I've been boycotting them along with the NBA. Same reason.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Will you join me in a boycott of Trader Joe's tri tip?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I dunno. We only just got Trader Joe's, and I like it. What if they denied me access to their products?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Just the tri tip. I want it off their shelves. 0 out of 5 stars. Just think about what wonderful product could replace it.

    What if it is something as delicious as the vanilla-raspberry ice cream bars? We'll never know.

  • Sudden||

    Trader Joes? Psh, peasant.

    Whole Foods is the most hoi polloi store I'll shop at for groceries. Otherwise, I prefer to have foods personally airlifted from their country of origin.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    TJ's isn't my primary grocery store, but it has some very good items at very low prices, some of which I can't live without.

  • Pro Libertate||

    My view as well. We get a little from Whole Foods on occasion, too, but Publix is our primary grocery store.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I remember those from my trip to Disney World. Freakin' huge.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I can't fathom thinking of Trader Joe's as "cheap".

  • Pro Libertate||

    You aren't shopping right. They have some cheap private label stuff. They also have overpriced stuff. You just have to figure it all out.

  • robc||

    Actually, if you look at a graph of mlb attendance, the slope of the increase never changed, but there was a signigicant step down after the strike.

  • John||

    The funny thing about this is that we are still going to be subjected to endless lectures about how racist the NBA is even though they just banned an owner for life for the crime of making not even overtly racist comments in a private conversation with his girlfriend.

    The NBA sure is clever in how it covers up its racism.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I've been boycotting the NBA for years. Because it fucking sucks.

  • John||

    Great minds think alike.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Like hockey there is no reason to watch it during the regular season.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Is it time to hop on the Kings bandwagon yet?

  • From the Tundra||

    Yes, but don't sit down.

  • Sudden||

    Blackhawks Playa. The Doyers are the only SoCal team that will ever get any love from me.

    The rest can kindly fuck off since their fans are all bandwagoning fakes anyhow. (I'll never question the loyalty de mi gente a Chavez Ravine).`

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I got to drink out of the Stanley Cup at Shellback (local watering hole). I owe them.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Now, Pro Lib, there's no need to act like the NBA is as bad as the Buccaneers just because they don't have a team in Tampa.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That doesn't bother me at all. I just don't enjoy the product. If there were a Tampa team, I'd not watch it, either.

    College basketball is another story.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    There's definitely a lot of structural problems with it. Seeing as basketball was the sport I was best at, it should be the easiest for professionals to get me to watch.

    For one thing I'm pretty sure I remember playing in games where the the ref was the dad of someone on the other team and they were still less biased than in the NBA.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't know for sure when it happened, but I'd be surprised if Stern didn't issue from on high the directive that the league was giving star players special rules. A good while back, probably in the early 90s. Something went haywire with the game, that's for sure.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    When I was playing in the early-mid 90s we already though the NBA officiating was pro-star.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I think that's when it happened. Might've been losing their heads over the popularity of Jordan, though it could've been other factors as well.

  • 110 Lean||

    Expansion. That's what happened.

  • John||

    For me Michael Jordan killed the NBA. It is not that he meant to or that I don't think he was a great player and enjoyable to watch. I do think both of those things.

    He killed the NBA because the league allowed him to get bigger than the league. There was always a bit of a star system in the NBA but it was never too obvious. With Jordan that all changed. The league and the game stopped being about teams and became about the stars and Jordan in particular. The refs and really the entire league made no secret of the fact that the refs no longer even tried to call the game fairly and intentionally biased the game towards perceived stars.

    Jordan committed an horrific pushoff on Byron Russell before he hit the shot to win game 6 of the 98 finals. The problem wasn't that it was a bad call. Bad calls happen in every sport. The problem was that it wasn't a bad call. The ref did exactly what the rules as they were interpreted were then and are now, let the star do whatever he wanted.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I kind of think Jordan has made the NFL worse too (though to a much lower level than the NBA). The way the NBA has become more about stars than the team has bled over into the NFL somewhat, and now you've got people switching from Colts to Broncos.

  • John||

    The rise of the fantasy football degenerate contributed to that as well. I know so many people who really don't know anything about football and have very little appreciation for the game but get the full Direct TV package every year because they are so into fantasy leagues.

    It is the reason why the NFL can continually put out a complete crap product like its Thursday night game between two teams on three days rest that are completely unprepared and not care. Few people watching the game understand it or care that it is a crap game. All they care about it is their fantasy team.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    MAAAA!!!! People are enjoying things in a different way than MEEEEE!!!! Make them STOOOOOOPPPP!!!!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Take your own advice Dragon.

  • Ted S.||

    That whole being about stars instead of the sport has infected tennis too. Earlier this year, Dmitri Tursunov was given a time violation warning, so he turned to the chair umpire sand said something to the effect of, "You wouldn't have given me a worning if I were Nadal."

  • PACW||

    "allowed him to get bigger than the league"

    Finally something sports related that I understand! So Magic Johnson is like the James Caan character in rollerball?

  • Horatio||

    I guess I can understand some of you old fogies' problem with the NBA, but college basketball?? Gross.

    95% of college games: Spend the first 20 seconds of each possession with your thumb up your ass trying to slow the game down, 2-3 furious passes back and forth, then jack up an ill advised 3 with the athleticism of a newborn deer.

    The NBA criticisms have legitimacy, but pretending college is anything but a shittier version is silly.

  • John||

    College is shittier basketball in the sense that the players have less skill. It is however, generally much more entertaining because the games after January mean something and the teams are evenly matched enough that it is impossible to predict what is going to happen.

    College basketball is great entertainment. NBA used to be great sport and great entertainment. Now it is neither.

  • flye||

    Endorsed.

  • flye||

    Jeez, we get it. You guys don't like the NBA. You're getting perilously close to "I don't even own a TV" territory here. Maybe sit the next couple plays out.

  • John||

    I love sports and loved the NBA for my entire childhood. I watched it back in the pre Magic and Bird, Dr. J. half the league is coke days.

    I am anything but trying to be too cool for school or pretending only Philistines like sports. I just really think the league has gone to shit in the last 20 years.

  • flye||

    Was just in jest anyway. I disagree about the NBA, but not enough to defend it to someone who has a deliberate opinion.

    Although, I would widen the court to improve the flow...

  • John||

    I would contract five or six teams. Then I would give every team a single unlimited salary slot. Every team could pay one player as much as they wanted and it wouldn't count against the cap. Lastly, I would limit guaranteed contracts to three years. No more Gilbert Arenas and his ilk stealing hundreds of millions of dollars and rendering an entire franchise uncompetitive for nearly a decade.

    The single unlimited salary slot would ensure the top players got paid the money they deserve and put an end to this "we will just form our own traveling AAU team" bullshit. It would also put an end to fair to middling players getting big contracts.

    Contracting the league would just improve the overall quality of the game.

    The finaly thing I would do, and I never thought I would say this, is get rid of the three point line. The problem with the three point line is that you are better off shooting 35% from the three point line than you are shooting 50% from two point range. Players have rationally completely given up on the mid range jump shot and back to the basket post moves. The game is just one long pick and roll and ball reversal looking for the open three point shot. I would rather watch someone hit 50% of their mid range shots than brick 65% of their shots from the three point line. It is just ugly and unwatchable basketball.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    It would also put an end to fair to middling players getting big contracts.

    Oh no! More people getting rich! The horror!

  • John||

    Since you clearly don't understand the NBA and its salary cap structure, let me explain it to you. The salary cap by putting a maximum on individual salaries screws the big stars. LaBron James was worth two hundred million dollars in franchise value to the Cavs and even more to the Heat. But the salary cap ensures he gets paid a max of around $20 million a year even though he produces six or seven times more than that in no shit marginal revenue to his team. The whole system completely fucks him and the players like him whom fans actually pay to see.

    The people who benefit from the system are average and above average players who bring little or no marginal revenue in. The team has to spend money somewhere and they save so much money on the top stars they are able to over pay the supporting players.

    That is socialism at its worst. That bothers me. The fact that it doesn't bother you should tell you something.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The Ukrainian Holodomr
    The Cultural Revolution
    The Cambodian Killing Fields

    And the NBA Salary Cap

  • flye||

    Agreed on contraction, although the real solution in all American sports is to figure out how to make relegation work. You're bad enough to be in the bottom of the league? Good luck in the minors next year.

    I would allow franchise players to be paid in profit sharing, not counting against the cap. The would provide incentives to field an entertaining and winning team.

    And I wouldn't eliminate the 3-point line, but I would move it back out. Widen the court so that the corner 3 isn't a mid-range shot (and per advanced stats, the best shot in the game next to a dunk).

    Now that we've solved that, let's talk about the Middle East...

  • Stormy Dragon||

    So you were into the NBA before it was popular, and now that everyone knows about it, it sucks?

  • John||

    Sometimes reality is what it is. The NBA was plenty popular before I came along. I point out how long I have been a fan as evidence that my frustration with it is not because I don't like basketball. I do.

  • croaker||

    Wilt the Stilt.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was a fan for a long time. Then the quality of the product got worse. Now I am not a fan. It's simple.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Two words killed the NBA: ZONE DEFENSE

  • LPDave||

    More evidence for Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation. There's no need to actually boycott, because the simulation of boycotting on the Internet is real enough.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    If he is forced to sell the team, he still collects on the sale?

  • Jackand Ace||

    Of course.

    He bought it for about $17M, and its worth about $900M.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I assume he still would, but I can't find an answer one way or another.

    This borders on derp, but I can't help but wonder if it wasn't a scheme to bring massive attention to the team because he wanted to sell.

    Let the bidding war begin for the best do-gooder who will rescue this team from the evil clutches of a racist old man.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    It could head in that direction. But this also could be a way to buy the team at a discount.

  • PapayaSF||

    What I notice about this affair is the ritualized mass Kabuki dance of self-righteous posturing. Everyone has to chime in and decry racism, now and forever the World's Number One Problem, as if Sterling's millionaire basketball players have been suffering on the plantation. Everyone must take a whack at today's embodiment of Emmanuel Goldstein. It's all very bonding. It's like something from the Middle Ages, just with new labels.

    And amid the self-righteousness, some of the "anti-racists" say things that, in a fair world, would be considered just as bad, if not worse. So the net effect is to make race relations worse. But hey, racism!!!

  • JW||

    Look, all he said was "That piece of halibut was good enough for a black guy."

  • Swiss Servator ...nichts||

    *slings packet of gravel*

  • Horatio||

    I actually find this incident to be evidence of the "moral" superiority of a free people and market: even a racist, out of touch, creepy old geezer can make millionaires out of the very people he wouldn't be caught dead with.

    This is a bad thing?

  • Invisible Finger||

    Apparently the millionaires think so.

  • Ted S.||

    Or as David Thompson likes to call it, moral preening.

  • MFD512||

    Makes Perfect sense for Magic Johnson to sponsor a boycott of the Clippers if he, Guggenheim parterns, and Michael Milken are fixin to buy the Clippers.

  • grrizzly||

    What a crazy overreaction. I fully expect that the outrage mobs related to every other cause (gay, feminist, Muslim, etc.) will feel justified to demand their villains to be punished just as much. The outrage treadmill.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I think of it more as a hamster wheel.

  • flye||

    Yup, it's now a very high bar. Let's see what happens the next time someone gets angry on the court and uses a gay slur.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I don't know where you've been, but Muslim outrage mobs have felt justified to demand punishments 10,000s times more brutal on a regular basis, unless you thought by "behead those who insult Islam" they were speaking metaphorically.

  • grrizzly||

    You're right, of course. I'm also glad that I can call my anti-Islam views moderate on HnR.

  • Drake||

    Meanwhile in less meaningless news - Obama Administration releases memo outlining their "Blame Benghazi on a YouTube Video" strategy.

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/w.....df#page=14

  • John||

    So pretty much every thing they and their toadies in the media has said about the subject up to now has been a complete lie. Let me get my surprised face.

  • Drake||

    I bet NBC and CBS will be all over it - I'll be shocked if they lead with this meaningless story about a racist geezer instead.

  • John||

    That or they won't say a word until various right wing gadflies shame them into giving it 10 seconds three weeks from now and from then on referring to it as "old news".

  • Anonymous Coward||

    What difference, at this point, does it make?!

    -45th President of the United States of America, Hillary Rodham Clinton

  • Jordan||

    Our long national nightmare is over! Some asshole said something assholish to his asshole girlfried, and now he's been punished!

  • JW||

    Our long, national nightmare is over!

  • Jordan||

    You can say that again!

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

  • PapayaSF||

    Our long, national nightmare is not yet over!

  • JW||

    Lens Flare Abrams is directing, right?

    Not interested.

  • Pro Libertate||

    To repeat a comment on this from an earlier thread: "I'd be even happier if they were replacing Abrams with, I dunno, Herzog? Star Wars: A Most Disturbing Dichotomy."

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Lars von Trier. Graphic sex scenes and violence....IN SPACE

  • JW||

    He's going to make us miss the mythical Episode's 1-III.

  • Brett L||

    Not to worry, there will be plenty of lens flare and plot holes to make up for missing Lucas's terrible love scene writing.

  • Brett L||

    Not to worry, there will be plenty of lens flare and plot holes to make up for missing Lucas's terrible love scene writing.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Oh come on, nothing is worse than this

  • Pro Libertate||

    We should time-snatch Coppola from the Philippines in 1978 and Milius from the same time period and have them shoot/write the fucking movie.

  • John||

    Have you ever seen Hearts of Darkness? It is a documentary on the filming of Apocalypse now put together from all of these home movies Coppola's wife shot during the filming. It is riveting stuff. They really did go a bit mad out in the jungle.

  • Pro Libertate||

    In fact, I just rewatched it this week.

  • Pro Libertate||

    If only Kinski were still alive. There's your Sith lord.

  • flye||

    Endorsed.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    You owe a hat tip to sloppy.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Sloopy. Autocorrect, but I'm OK with it in this case.

  • Jordan||

    Sloppy? Is that Snoopy's methhead cousin or something?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Carrie Fisher

    I think I'd prefer she stay in the original trilogy...

  • Pro Libertate||

    Man, she'd better get to the gym soon.

  • Brett L||

    She dies in the opening scene and is played by a young CGI hologram of herself for the rest of the movie. Its really just voice acting.

  • PapayaSF||

    Supposedly they are all working out to get in shape for this.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Better stop eating, too.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    I actually think Mark Hamill aged the worst among the three.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Not fair. Dude was disfigured in a horrific car accident.

  • PACW||

    No Cumberbatch. I'm disappointed.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    I'm boycotting this post.

  • A Frayed Knot||

    I vote for a lifetime ban on the NBA.

  • GILMORE||

    Explain to me how the NBA can 'fine' a team owner for saying racist things in private?

    I'm sure I could look it up. But I'm assuming one of you understands WTF that's about. Was there a contractual obligation to "never be a dick" when he bought the team?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    You'd be surprised what's in some of those contracts.

  • RBS||

  • John||

    They can fine him for anything they want consistent with the bilaws of the league. I have no idea what those are. Sterling may have a law suit here.

    What I can't figure out is how they plan to collect the fine considering that they have banned him for life. Why would Sterling pay it? What are they going to do? Ban him?

  • GILMORE||

    Because (as noted below) failure to pay fines would be a perfect excuse to then force a sale of the team, etc.

    The whole Time.com article linked below actually provided a comprehensive answer to my question = the author clearly pre-empted people like me who were thinking, "WTF is the NBA's bizness in punishing racism?"

  • John||

    Ah. But if he is banned, why wouldn't he sell the team? What is the fun of owning a team you can't control?

    I guess he would want to avoid the giant capital gains tax bill he would incur or he hopes some day they will let him back in.

  • robc||

    Withold from his next tv payment.

    Same thing the ACC did with Maryland.

  • GILMORE||

    Ok, I fucking looked it up

    "Silver will indeed have pretty broad leeway to dole out what, in his view, is just punishment. The first, and probably least effective, option is a straight fine. NBA owners have been subject to fines before:...

    NBA charter allows the league president to stick anyone for almost anything for behavior which isn't approved by the NBA. It is a Feudal system that empowers the league president to smack owners around when needed. They could even force him to sell the team, more or less; they could suspend him indefinitely, then sell the team because he's unfit to run it while he's "suspended" - the main barriers being political ones, but given the situation, I think that people would probably not say boo... =

    http://time.com/79732/donald-s.....lippers-2/

    "“The NBA’s constitution, which is confidential, reportedly contains language permitting owners to authorize the league to sell a team without an owner’s consent. The language, SI.com is told, only covers very limited circumstances and these circumstances concern league finances — namely, when an owner can’t pay his bills. There is reportedly no language authorizing the NBA to sell a team because of an owner’s hurtful remarks or embarrassing behavior. Even if conditional language could be construed to authorize a forced sale of the Clippers, NBA owners would likely be reluctant to do so given the precedent it would set..."

  • Invisible Finger||

    It is a Feudal system

    This is why the NBA is popular with socialists.

    I stopped following the NBA when I realized 99% of their fans were socialist scum, surpassing even college football.

  • Sevo||

    GILMORE|4.29.14 @ 3:26PM|#
    ..."It is a Feudal system that empowers the league president to smack owners around when needed."...

    I don't doubt that one bit and I don't doubt that Sterling (freely) signed right where his lawyer told him to sign, since it made him a ton of money and he got to meet all the groupies hanging out with the players.
    Trying to find some outrage that a private org can set rules for membership and failing.
    Trying to find some sympathy for Sterling and failing.

  • Brett L||

    OT: The Unbearable whiteness of the American Left, wherein The Nation stumbles upon a puzzling phenomenon.

  • ||

    Wow. This is inching dangerously close to a show of self-awareness. We may have reached a progressive Turing moment here.

  • GILMORE||

    But I thought the GOP wuz the party of the whitey??!

    http://www.newrepublic.com/art.....ite-people

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's quite simple. These people don't serve the interests of disadvantaged groups. They co-opt their causes and use them solely to gain more power. That's it. Maybe some people who operate on the left are blissfully ignorant of this truth, but I'm starting to believe that's fewer than I once thought.

  • John||

    Culturally they are as disconnected from the average black person as they are from the average conservative white person. They live in a complete self contained bubble of smug and delusion. They are the only ones surprised that only people exactly like them inhabit their bubble.

  • Brett L||

    Its a good thing only white people read The Nation.

    I meant to post this paragraph with their justification but the squirrels ate it:

    The point here is not that only minorities or the poor can run organizations that advocate on issues that primarily affect minorities and the poor. That way madness lies. There is nothing inherent in an identity or a circumstance that automatically makes someone a better leader. Michael Manley, John Brown, Joe Slovo—history is not teeming with examples of the wealthy and light providing leadership for the poor and dark, but they do exist. People have to be judged on what they do, not who they are. This is not simply about optics. What an organization looks like is relevant; but what it does is paramount.
  • John||

    People have to be judged on what they do, not who they are.

    The irony just burned a hole in my keyboard. Rarely do these idiots leave me speechless but wow. Just wow.

    What an organization looks like is relevant; but what it does is paramount

    As long as that organization is ours, it totally doesn't matter if it is all white. Every other organization in the world, however, must have a proper mix of all genders, sexual preferences, religions and race.

    You just have to laugh.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The justification is idiotic, but the point is this: when given the chance the poor and minorities vote for socialism in overwhelming numbers. The hubris of central planing and the selfishness of entitlements are natural allies. The welfare/entitlement system becomes its own reinforcing propaganda.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's one of the most vicious of vicious circles. What's crazy is that it's very, very harmful. Blacks, for instance, should've run screaming from this crap decades ago, given the horrific damage it's done.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    What an organization looks like is relevant; but what it does is paramount.

    Dear Republican/Tea Bagger-hadists/Rand-worshippers,

    Here's a loophole for our overwhelming whiteness, and noose for your overwhelming whiteness.

    Love,

    Hypocrite Progressives Everywhere

  • Mokers||

    Donald Sterling has been one of the more loathsome owners for a long time. Forget about his ideas on race. When the team was still in San Diego, he wanted to the coach to tape ankles so he wouldn't have to hire a trainer. He is the only owner in the league who shares his arena with another franchise. For most of his tenure as owner he hasn't really cared about the product on the court - under his ownership the Clippers have had the worst winning percentage of any franchise of any franchise in any of the four major leagues in the US. He may have been able to get through his recent problems if he hadn't spent so many years fighting the other owners and being genuinely terrible at the job. In the end, he will be forced out of the league, but he'll still stands to make $700 million or so on the sale of the team.

  • John||

    For sure. If we had to have a week of lunacy culminating with the Congress of Apes known as the sports media running someone out of sports for a completely idiotic reason, other than Jerry Sandusky, it is hard to think of a less sympathetic victim.

  • Lord Humungus||

    and sale gleefully into the sunset with another mistress.

    (all while hacking a lung up, or whatever 80yos do)

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Being his mistress must be the world's easiest job.

    "So you'd like to be my mistress. What are your qualifications."

    "You're looking at them. Plus, when I cheat on you, I'll try to be discreet. And I won't record your phone calls and give them to the media."

    "Sounds great - you're hired!"

  • John||

    Being a mistress to some rich guy is about as easy a gig as one can get, provided you have the requisite assets. It is amazing how many women still manage to fuck it up.

  • Drake||

    He didn't even expect fidelity - just wanted her to be discrete.

  • John||

    And since she was never married to him or lived with him, she won't get any of his cash. The gravy train just ended.

  • Sevo||

    "The gravy train just ended."

    Didn't one of Trump's floozies get a commercial deal?

  • Invisible Finger||

    The fact that you can't remember speaks volumes.

  • Invisible Finger||

    In Sterling's defense, I would DEMAND my mistress not cozy up with HIV-positive men.

  • Mickey Rat||

    How was she not discrete? Is she a cylon?

  • Sudden||

    Outside of the basic anatomy that characterized the body human, female version, I'm not sure she really had the requisite assets. As I said before, I wouldn't fuck her with Warty's dick.

  • John||

    Neither would I. But take a look a Sterling. There are only so many women willing to lay down for money. The really hot ones are able to do it with men that are at least slightly less hideous. Sterling is stuck taking what he can get.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Here I was thinking that discretion was kind of implied when you took a woman on as your mistress/dinner companion/fuck buddy.

    Apparently, mistresses just ain't what they used to be.

  • Drake||

    I certainly expect better after I make my first billion.

  • JoeZilch||

    Did I miss something? Why was #BoycottLakers used instead of #BoycottClippers in the middle of the article (paragraph 12)?

  • Bubba Jones||

    I would guess that the playoff series is already sold out.

    Would be more effective to show up but cheer for the visitor.

  • je suis la lune||

    So one team owner makes a racist comment and gets a lifetime ban for it, although players who rape and or assault people can continually play and get resigned? Something seems off here, maybe Ol' Don' knew too much.

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