Sterling's Punishment Could Yield Him a Huge Profit

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, sits next to his girlfriend V. Stiviano (R) during the 2013 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 19, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. (Ronald Martinez/Getty)

See Also: NBA Bans Donald Sterling For Life, Issues $2.5 Million Fine

The national conversation around race in the NBA has erupted after Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, has allegedly been heard in a recording making racist comments about African Americans.

As an employer of African Americans, including Clippers Coach Doc Rivers, does Sterling believe he is permitted to think of blacks in derogatory, racist terms? The allegations will be the subject of a news conference held today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Silver is challenged to get the NBA through the playoffs and past a scandal that has not just lost millions in sponsorships for the Clippers, but has fans talking about a boycott.

As the pressure continues to mount on the NBA, and as the Clippers lose more sponsorship deals, Sterling might find himself in the position of having to sell the team—a punishment that would earn him a huge profit.

To help walk us through this ordeal and what might be next, The Takeaway turns to Harvey Schiller, CEO of GlobalOptions Group, recently elected President of the International Baseball Federation. Schiller is a former executive director and secretary general of the United States Olympic Committee and commissioner of the South Eastern Conference. Also weighing in is Mike Finkelstein, a professor of sports marketing and management at Rutgers University.


Mike Finkelstein and Harvey Schiller


T.J. Raphael

Comments [6]


it certainly appears that there will be few 'profile in courage' from the owners and players and commentators for piling on an easy mark. is any one looking at statements spoken by others, black and white, in public without penalty. Obama spoke properly and well to let the comments stand by themselves. players do not have to play and fans don't have to pay. are they willing? just follow the money to the first amendment.

Apr. 30 2014 11:30 AM
Wilhelm Boomerang from Washington, D.C.

Zero tolerance for Thought-Criminals!

Clarification: you can *think* inappropriate thoughts in private, but do not vocalize them to friends, spouse, intimate partners or animals. And don't express that private think in some way that's obviously offensive. See? No one's coming to confiscate your thoughts.

That's quite generous of us, actually.

Apr. 30 2014 12:50 AM
Mitch Greenberg from New Jersey

I'm surprised by the stupidity of Donald Sterling's comments, but I am amazed at the firestorm of controversy and scandal that has erupted over them. This was a secret recording of a private conversation of a private citizen, expressing oddly backward, ill-advised opinions on matters of race. I don't agree with his attitudes, and he should probably watch his tongue better, BUT:
This is America! We have a First Amendment right to FREEDOM OF SPEECH! He had no thought of anyone but his "little piece on the side" ever hearing his talk. He was clearly not filled with angry hate, or inciting to violence or riot or the overthrow of the government. He broke no law, and I'll bet he broke no League rules dealing with private phone calls and bone-headed opinions. Shun him for an obnoxious fool by all means; but all this hoopla about fines, investigations, boycotts, ad nauseum is bizarrely overblown.

Apr. 29 2014 03:48 PM

What is the take on the Larry Johnson call for an all-black league? I'm surprised/and not surprised to see it omitted from the conversation. It's an interesting piece of the story in 2014

Apr. 29 2014 02:42 PM
Richard Pendergrass from Portland, OR

I feel as a society we should send a very clear message to Donald Sterling and every other person holding exclusionary morals that we will not tolerate such egregious comments. Donald Sterling should correct his actions by removing himself.

Apr. 29 2014 01:09 PM
Rosanne Loesch from Philadelphia

It was hilarious to hear Harvey Schiller use the term "African Americans" while talking about black players in European soccer leagues being called names and booed on the field etc. Black players in European soccer leagues are almost never from the U.S. but are from European or African countries. So they are NOT African Americans! :)

Apr. 29 2014 01:02 PM

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