Sports

UCLA Returning Enough Money to Donald Sterling to Cover $2.5 Million NBA Fine

No word on whether the NAACP will return any money, but it does want to talk to the NBA

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National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner Adam Silver announced at a press conference yesterday that the league would fine L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling $2.5 million and ban him from the Clippers organization for life. Silver said he had a conversation with Sterling about a tape released by TMZ over the weekend, confirming the racist rant was his.  

Silver said  the league was "meting out this punishment" based on the comments and not due to "previous behavior." Punishment for that previous behavior may come later. Silver hopes team owners will force the sale of the L.A. Clippers and that that process, which includes a standing committee of the NBA, will start immediately. The NBA's constitution is not a public document, and Silver would not speak to too many details of the processes he says are now in place, but said forcing the sale of the team would require 3/4 of owners voting in favor.

Some recipients of Sterling donations now say they're planning to return the money. Most notably, UCLA is returning nearly $500,000 donated for kidney research and refusing the $2.5 million still pledged, freeing up just enough money for Sterling to pay his NBA fine. A homeless teen shelter and Goodwill of Southern California are also rejecting Sterling's donation, although other charitable groups intend to keep and spend the donated money, or already have. The Clippers defeated the Golden State Warriors 113-103 in the fifth game of the Round 1 playoff series.

The NAACP, meanwhile, says a lifetime ban is not enough. The Los Angeles chapter of the organization actually previously awarded Sterling with a lifetime achievement award and was scheduled to award him a second one next month. The chapter has not announced whether it would return any money Sterling gave them, and the national chapter of the NAACP hasn't explained how and why Sterling, who has a history of charges of racism against him that extends beyond one leaked conversation, was awarded by the organization, which is dedicated to minority advancement. The NAACP now says it wants to talk with the NBA about diversity among basketball executives.

Earlier this week Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, while endorsing maximum punishment for Sterling, warned of a "very, very slippery slope" if the NBA started "making blanket statements about what people say and think," wondering whether the league was ready to punish people for homophobia, xenophobia, or religious bigotry. As Nick Gillespie noted:

One of the implications of Cuban's comments is that many players, coaches, and team owners would be in trouble if homophobia were raised to the level of racism as a disqualifying set of beliefs. Despite the recent announcement of an openly gay current player, the league is widely regarded as a hotbed of anti-gay animus. Cuban's point, which I think he makes with clarity and with the best of intentions, is that chasing out bad ideas is never as easy as it seems at first blush. Mark Cuban tweeted his support for Silver's decision. Sterling is the longest-tenured team owner with the NBA.

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  1. Yesterday Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, while endorsing maximum punishment for Silver,

    Um, Ed?

  2. Also, “Silver is the longest-tenured team owner with the NBA.” Is this misprint or is one owner allowed to punish other owners?

    I find all of this baffling. I’m still waiting for one of my friends who is into sports to be able to explain to me why congress had hearings about baseball steroid use.

    Not that I really care but who exactly gets the 2 and a half million?

  3. Google the connection between Guggenheim Partners, Magic Johnson, and Michael Milken.

    Magic will boycott the Clippers until he owns them.

    1. That is what this is all about. Magic Johnson hangs out with the girlfriend of Sterling. It has been common knowledge that Johnson and others wanted the team.

      This stinks to high heaven. The NBA is corrupt.

  4. I’m sure the NBA consulted their lawyers, but did anyone really give any rational thought to this? Silver may be twisted, but his comments were made in a very private setting and illegally recorded. Though notorious, I don’t believe it rises to actionable conduct.

    I won’t be surprised when Silver’s attorneys extract much more than $2.5 million from the NBA. If the NBA would simply leave him alone, market forces would urge him to sell his share of the team.

    1. I beg your pardon, replace Silver with Sterling in the above. It’s been a long day….

      1. I have some Sterling Silver. It does an excellent job of containing gravy until I pour it over my mashed potatoes.

    2. I’m waiting for the headline where the whore…um, girlfriend gets arrested for illegally recording the conversation or a jury awards the racist asshole a billion dollars in damages for her releasing the illegal tape. I expect to be waiting until you can ice skate on the Caribbean.

        1. _on_ the Caribbean, not _in_ the Caribbean.

  5. If he’s banned for life, why on earth would he pay their fine?

    1. Yeah, that’s the first thing I thought. It’s a somewhat nonsensical approach. Either fine him or kick him out (assuming that is a viable choice) but doing both seems a little excessive.

      And how would they enforce the fine? Maybe there are TV rights that get paid to the NBA directly and then checks get sent to the owners? Or merchandising?

      1. There’s probably a morals clause in his contract with the NBA that’s vague enough to allow enforcement against thought crime.

  6. This entire episode is comical.

    Some eighty year-old porker, that probably won’t live another year, who has some young hooker girlfriend, and nobody ever heard of this dipshit in the first place, has all the usual crowd in an uproar.

    The NBA and the NFL is nothing but a gaggle of punks and thugs. No one with half a brain gives a rat’s ass what’s going on here.

    1. Was it worth it to have that wrinkled piece of shit grunting and sweating all over her?

      Will someone please put Howard Stern in charge of CNN so we can get the real questions answered?

      And, no, I’m not kidding. Put me in charge of CNN and I’d have trained squads of attack reporters going after EVERYONE in this story.

  7. dude is a racist, no doubt. But thought crimes don’t exist. I don’t support any of the silly, insecure crap that Sterling said but the NBA didn’t have to pull this melodramatic “lifetime ban” bs. Simply, no one would have wanted to play (or coach) for a known racist. He would’ve apologized, sold his share, and retired into the shadows.

    I really think there is something more to this: Magic Johnson’s interest in buying the team, coupled with the demands to force Sterling to sell his team, seem a little shady to me honestly. And all this withhunt bs with Eich and now Sterling seems to me to be a larger part of the leftist agenda to divide the country among fault lines.

    Without sounding like a tinfoil hatter, I’d say- watch out for what is going on while we are distracted.

    1. Yes, but the appeal behind getting rid of someone potentially disruptive to your brand is obvious.

      Its the same logic behind getting rid of a CEO that alienates a good portion of your customers.

      I’m sure there is a clause in his franchising agreement that gives NBA the power to boot him if he becomes disruptive to the leagues reputation.

      Secondly, Magic Johnson has already said he doesn’t want the team.

      1. Yeah contracts like this tend to have a morality clause. The league is (presumably) within their rights to invoke that clause of the contract even if it seems unjust to punish someone for opinions expressed in a leaked recording of a private conversation.

  8. Lesson is, if you don’t let black guys fuck your girlfriend you’re a super racist, so at least he was okay with that. But after they’re done fucking her to say she can’t take them out in public is also racist. The line for racism appears to have approached batshit crazy.

    1. Can’t take them out to a nationally televised event that he is *hosting*.

      1. It’s *your* party, but I’ll fuck who I wanna.

        1. I heard Magic may be available.

  9. I give not two micro-fucks about the LA Clippers or the NBA. What I want to know is if thought crime in private can lead to a huge fine and a ban or life … can we apply these rules to our government?

    Seriously though, is anyone else concerned about mob rule mentality?

    1. Every day. Democracy worship is a dangerous thing and probably the most potent myth influencing Western societies.

  10. The NAACP, meanwhile, says a lifetime ban is not enough.

    They would prefer he be tarred, feathered and incarcerated for the crime of having unpopular opinions and sharing them in a private conversation. We need to put this white man in his place and we need moar diversity. Racial preferences in employment practices is only racist when a white man is preferred.

    1. What kind of treatment would they recommend for the racist Al Sharpton?

  11. I’m just surprised that a guy who owns an African Handball team would be so overtly racist.

  12. “chasing out bad ideas is never as easy as it seems at first blush.”
    Not to mention deciding which ideas are “bad” in the first place. Should remarks indicating a love of target practice merit punishment? How about remarks indicating that one is a follower of a cult religion – like Mormonism or Catholicism? How about remarks that prove the owner believes that Negroes are just as good as whites? Who gets to decide?

    1. Who gets to decide?

      I would imagine that’s stipulated in the contract between Sterling and the league.

  13. Seems odd that UCLA and others would refund his donations when they represent something in the good column for his life record. Unless they had to name something after him, why not use the money to better education, etc.?

    Now, what about the “girlfriend” ? Wasn’t it she who recorded him? Anyone else suspect that she offered him the opportunity to buy back the audio tape?

    1. It’s called being “politically correct”. I wouldn’t have given a damn dime to UCLA.

      1. People keep saying the money is dirty or tainted, which is superstitious bullshit.

        I’d take research money from David Duke. I just wouldn’t name a building after him.

  14. “UCLA Gives Noted Racist $3 Million”

    1. Now it’s time to claw back all those political donations…

  15. “”The resolution, presented by Councilman Bernard C. Parks, also asked The Times and other newspapers to stop running ads for Sterling’s real estate empire and “alleged civic activities.” The Times had no immediate comment on the request to drop Sterling’s advertisements.”

    http://www.latimes.com/local/l…..z30NxRNAkv

    This is bordering on Censorship.

  16. YAY! We’ve ostracized one bigot! We have eradicated bigotry from the face of the Globe! YAY!

    1. One old bigot who will probably die within a year.

      Unfortunately we still have Holder to deal with.

  17. This incident has set the stage for bigger things to come.

    Johnson is a minority owner of the Dodgers, and they employ Yasiel Puig, who supposedly owes money to drug cartels and snitched on people in Cuba. If that story proves to be true, then what will happen to Puig? Will the team suspend him for a few games for “conduct detrimental to the team”, while Sterling received a lifetime ban for racist remarks?

    Two football teams are being sued for discrimination. If they’re found guilty, what will happen to the owners? Feminists won’t be happy if they get a slap on the wrist for gender discrimination.

    And yes, Silver’s silence on recording of private conversation means that extortion is now permitted if it reveals someone’s racism.

  18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhZMrYqtqZ0

    I did a frequency analysis on the audio and found out that the audio provided is definitely NOT the raw audio recording. It’s a dirty setup. Watch my screencast to follow my process in full, but in summary: Most of the spectrum is

    1. I was right that TMZ’s audio was edited, but I think I was wrong in saying that the audio is a patchwork fabrication. I later analyzed the higher-quality audio from deadspin.com, and couldn’t find anything wrong with it. Go there to hear what Sterling said without TMZ’s dodgy edits.

      I now have a bad opinion of TMZ, although I do now believe that Sterling is racist, and said everything on the recording, in that order and in that way.

  19. UCLA: “He said horrible, racist things, so were sending him a check for $425,000, and deliberately hurting medical research.”

    The people involved in this decision should be shot.

  20. The reaction here is surprising. Government has not gotten involved, yet this room seems pretty appalled that a private group would ban a member for life due to his conduct. Haven’t we always said we have a right to free speech, but that it has consequences? And that we are only protected from our government when we speak, not from the fallout of our words and actions? If the beef is about the tape, you who suggest it shouldn’t come into play may only have a point if it were the NBA that secretly recorded him to use against him. But this was a recording made by someone else, and the NBA is simply reacting to what is now public knowledge. I don’t see why they wouldn’t have the ability to act against Sterling, particularly if the membership agreement (the private NBA Constitution) stipulates the commissioner has the authority to do exactly what was done.

    The guy has said and done racist things, and sponsors have reacted by pulling their business. The other owners, as well as the players association, have an interest in keeping sponsors happy.

  21. WAHH! My culo hurts! My non-existent right to not have a sore butt trumps his inalienable right to speech! Kick him out! Steal his money! Owch, my poor hurt culo!

    Fucking ignorant, thin-skinned crybabies. All of this nonsense over a *private* conversation. . . from the same people who were more than happy to accept millions of dollars a year from the man, for doing absolutely *nothing* productive.
    Playing a child’s game, BFD – here’s a quarter. Your mommy is calling you.

    I have an idea, you brainless baboons – go get a real fucking job. Fucking infantile, puling scumbags – grow the fuck up.

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