Rookie NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday that Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and the longest-tenured owner in the NBA would be banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million.
On April 25, 2014, a day before Sterling’s 80th birthday, TMZ Sports released an alleged recording of a conversation from September 2013 between Sterling and his previous mistress, Vivian Stiviano.
I’m sorry, but when I first heard this story; I stopped listening after I heard “TMZ”.
For the record, only a clip of the hour long conversation has been released, but that fraction of the phone call was enough to set a racial and media frenzy across the NBA. The summary from the short recording that was released was of Sterling being livid that Stiviano posted a picture of herself with Matt Kemp and Magic Johnson on Instagram. So my first reaction was that Sterling was jealous/embarrassed that his young, half black & half Latino, girlfriend was flaunting that she was posting pictures/hanging out/cheating on her old-man, billionaire, married, boyfriend with younger men and that could suggest she was cheating on him.
Until now, I had no idea who the owner of the Clippers was. If you Google, you can see that Sterling has a document past of bigoted actions. This is not his first racial rodeo. That doesn’t mean this is an excuse, but it shouldn’t be a huge surprise if it is known in the league that Sterling has had several racial issues before and until Tuesday, he was still an NBA owner.
Magic Johnson said “we have made him money, but we’re not welcome at the game. We can’t get over that. That’s why we’re upset”. And Magic has every right to be upset. Sterling has used African American talent to make him billions. How can you slap the hands that feed you? How can it bother Sterling that Stiviano wanted to associate with “black” people, but it didn’t bother Sterling to associate with Stiviano when she is half black?
And what a hoe! Stiviano chose NOW to release this alleged tape? It’s the playoffs, and it’s playing out to be one of the best playoffs in years. Oh, of course blackmail is the motive. Sterling’s legal wife has filed a lawsuit against Stiviano for being a gold-digger, also known as fraud and Stiviano told Sterling that “she would get even” with him. So far, Stiviano is winning.
The lifetime ban from the NBA sent a huge statement for zero tolerance on racial issues. Sterling will dispute the ban over an invasion of privacy and any edits that could have distorted and mislead the message in the recording. Until it is appealed, is Sterling banned from watching Basketball Wives?