Silver’s Slippery Slope
I think NBA Comish Adam Silver got it right handing down a lifetime suspension and a $2.5 million dollar fine of LA Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling in light of his racist comments that went viral over the weekend thanks to TMZ. Silver says he’ll also attempt to force the controversial and longest tenured NBA owner to sell the franchise. For that, Silver needs the approval of 75% of the NBA owners. I’m guessing it was as important to Silver to get a feel on where the other owners stood on that issue as it was to make sure the voice heard on those audio recordings was indeed Sterling’s.
Sterling acknowledged he was the man on tape, Silver said. How close to that 75% ownership approval isn’t public yet. Sterling is virtually an NBA gelding now as far as any participation with his team or league. Barred from games, practices, his team’s offices and facilities, player personnel decisions, etc. He can, however, as the actual owner make money off the team.
Here’s where the slope gets slippery. Yes, it’s right to expect ownership to comport themselves in a way they demand their players who represent their teams do. The Comish dropped a hammer the size of Thor’s down on owner Sterling….now he’s got to make sure players face equal scrutiny when it comes to racist “trash talk”, something that is common place in locker rooms and on the court. This is where it get’s interesting.
There’s no room for knuckle draggers such as Sterling to maintain positions of power in sports if leadership really wants to support equality. Now we’ll see how it all trickles down and if Silver, all of three months on the job, has opened Pandora’s box.