Apr 29 2014, 3:10pm CDT | by Forbes
“Effective Immediately,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling is banned from the NBA. How long? “for life.” And just to be clear, Silver announced that Sterling “may not attend any practices, be present at any Clippers facilities” attend games, or any other league activities.
And then like a punitive damages award by a jury, Silver took out the financial sword. Sterling was fined $2.5 million, the maximum allowed under the NBA constitution. The proceeds will be donated to charity associated to multiculturalism.
It still takes a three-fourths vote of the NBA Board of Governors to approve the forced sale of the team. I would bet my mortgage the Board will approve the sale. I am so confident because Silver would not have so matter-of-factly and stridently made this pronouncement.
What I appreciate most about this NBA decision is that it was a clear rebuke in the strongest terms possible of abhorrent cultural behavior. It was standing up for the multicultural mission of the League. It was standing up for the players who make money for them all, and prop up the League. I’ll even go so far to say, it is a stronger message to the rest of the world that the equality principles and multicultural aspects of what America stands for have been affirmed.
Over a dozen sponsors spoke first. They withdrew from the Clippers. The NBA has now keep fans and advertisers from withdrawing as well. Through this announcement, the NBA put an end to potential Clipper boycotts, claims of NBA hypocrisy, and misdirected focus away from the game at the greatest interest and income period –the playoffs.
The NBA need only do what Silver said they would: Take a “fresh look” at their criteria for allowing someone to own a team. Only then will be more assured that another Sterling cannot use billions to buy his way in while being culturally bankrupt.
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