Racist troubles wracked the NBA world during the first round of the NBA playoffs, stemming from the comments of Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling to his ex-girlfriend. Within hours of the TMZ premiere of the tape, in which Sterling made several racist comments involving black patrons of Clippers games, a media firestorm was underway.
Within days, NBA commissioner Adam Silver condemned the comments and held a vote for NBA owners, that resulted in Sterling’s banishment from the NBA without taking away his ownership.
Some dismissed this as not enough and others accepted it as more than expected from a fresh commissioner. Former players like Baron Davis mentioned that Sterling’s behavior displayed on the tape is not a new occurrence. Many other allegations that questioned Sterling’s character followed in the wake of the incident.
Silver announced that he hopes the league owners would vote to remove Sterling from ownership. To do so would require a 3/4 majority of NBA owners which Silver believes he will receive. Aside from this though, not much else has been done in the Sterling department.
The Clippers are tied 2-2 with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoffs, which means they are still receiving money from ticket sales, meaning Sterling is still receiving money from this investment regardless of whether or not he gets paid from the work Clippers players and staff members are doing.
Meanwhile, Doc Rivers and NBA Players Union President Chris Paul must still perform for an owner which they do not agree with. And their organizations have spoken out against it. Who truly wins in the end of this?
Yet, announcers and news sources seem content enough to leave it as over. This is far from over.
Supposing the NBA moves forward with actions to remove Sterling’s ownership, Sterling most likely will protest the action legally. In this case, the NBA will have to fight a lengthy court battle. Adding to the legal woes of those fighting against Sterling, the fact is that the tape originally leaked by TMZ was illegally recorded. In short, Sterling will most likely win that battle.
What will come of his ownership of the Clippers is unknown, but undoubtedly not over.
Colin Jackson is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.