Home NBA LAWS ON THE COURT: NBA EDITION: Can Donald Sterling afford another scandal?

LAWS ON THE COURT: NBA EDITION: Can Donald Sterling afford another scandal?


The NBA community has long been weary of Donald Sterling and his prejudice and racist practices.
The recording that TMZ released via (allegedly) Vanressa Stiviano has a host of disgusting, derogatory and bigotry laced comments from an antiquated old coot.

But this shouldn’t be surprising; Sterling has a storied background of these irreconcilable acts:

  • 2003 Housing Rights Center brought suit against Sterling for trying to remove non-Koreans from apartments he purchased in Koreatown
  • 2006 the Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation pledged $50 million dollars to provide a site to bring services to LA’s large homeless population on Skid Row. Nothing has been built
  • 2006 the U.S Justice Department sued Sterling for housing discrimination.  Alleging he used race to determine tenants.  Preferring to rent to “non-Koreans” and also stereotyping and make defamatory remarks against the Hispanic and African-American population
  • In 2009 Elgin Baylor (Former GM for the Clippers) sued Sterling for employment discrimination.  Baylor’s salary was frozen at $350,000 since 2003 while a “Caucasian head coach (Mike Dunleavy Sr.)” was given a four-year $22 million dollar deal

In all these lawsuits money was the solution.  All cases closed after a monetary agreement was reached.  What that means (in most settlements) is that the accused party doesn’t have to admit to any wrong doing, as long as they shell out.

So can Sterling whose  net worth is $1.9 billion dollars (as of September 2013) according to Forbes Magazine, buy his way out of this one too?

The NAACP, who announced it would revoke the Life Time Achievement Award that it was planning on giving Sterling, said today via LA President Leon Jenkins, the organization would forgive him.

“God teaches us to forgive, and the way I look at it, after a sustained period of proof to the African-American community that those words don’t reflect his heart, I think there’s room for forgiveness. I wouldn’t be a Christian if I said there wasn’t”

Jenkins then went on to say the NAACP “are negotiating with him about giving more moneys  to African-American students at UCLA” also noting they had not spoken since the scandal broke. To note, the NAACP also awarded Sterling for his efforts in 2009.

So does this mean money has saved him again? His ability to pay, literally, for his absolutely terrible actions and ignorant words has given him the green light to continue on, virtually unscathed.

Can he sustain this pattern?  It will be hard with Clippers sponsors dropping out in protest.  As of today Virgin America, State Farm, CarMax, LoanMart, and Amtrak have pulled corporate associations until Sterling is gone.

Although the NBA does not have the power to remove him as the owner, they can fine and suspend him.  What would also help end Sterling’s regime, is the NBA owners refusing to conduct business with the Clippers,  free agents making a stand by avoiding that market all together, and fans refusing to pay for tickets could help to force Sterling out; they undoubtedly should, but will they?

At the end of the day the NBA is a business, and it’s proven that money rules (in most instances).  Here’s hoping that humanity will prevail this time around.

Adam Silvers’ press conference will be held Tuesday afternoon, where he will reveal the leagues findings and subsequent sentence for Sterling.