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Donald Sterling has no place in our league.
April 27, 2014 1:47 AM   Subscribe

Donald Sterling (previously), owner of the Clippers, recently had a conversation with his girlfriend, where he complained about the photo she posted to Instagram of her with a black man, who happened to be Magic Johnson. Reaction from players, former players, and coaches has been strong. From the owners? Not so much. The league? They want to wait and see.

Of course, Sterling claims to not be a racist.

Other reactions:

Lebron James: "There is no room for Donald Sterling in our league."

The TNT halftime show, including Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Johnson, and Ernie Johnson.

Doc Rivers, coach of the Clippers, who had a player's meeting about Sterling, and are in the middle of a playoff series against the Golden State Warriors, mentioned that the players had thought, like Lebron James, about a possible boycott.

Several other former players, as well as DeAndre Jordan current starting center for the Clippers took to twitter and instagram.

Finally, Snoop Dogg, with a message for "the motherfucker that owns the Clippers."
posted by Ghidorah (279 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
What a piece of shit.

Also, I'm totally disappointed that the NAACP is still slated to give hi a lifetime achievement award.

I'm also flabbergasted that this motherfucker was honored by the NAACP in 2009 amidst another controversy.

Fuck you.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:11 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Never forget.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:15 AM on April 27 [63 favorites]


Never forget.

Ok. I read that. That was pretty good. Maybe I was a bit harsh dropping the mofo, but everything else stands. Still a pice of shit.

Stellar performance at the deposition, though.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:20 AM on April 27


(Not in the sense of "it's okay, he's funny!", more "He really is a complete buffoon.")
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:25 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Fuck this guy.
posted by barnacles at 3:26 AM on April 27


Professional, and for that matter College, sports have been institutes of exploitation for a very long time. These kind of comments by a rich team owner shouldn't surprise anyone.
posted by HuronBob at 3:37 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


It is crazy that he thinks he 'owns the rights' to a group of human beings and could trade them for other human beings for money or something. It is not like they have a televised auction where a group of millionaires gather to select people after physical exams and then those people are forced to relocate if they want to earn a living.

This is 2014!
posted by srboisvert at 3:45 AM on April 27 [28 favorites]


flabbergasted that this motherfucker was honored

honors == $$$
posted by sammyo at 3:54 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


[As a general note: this is an ugly thing, but the OP has included quite a few different links looking at different reactions from different parties, so hopefully we can find more to discuss than just, basically, repetitions of "fuck him" -- which sure, but this isn't the purpose of Mefi -- or vying with each other to make the most hyperbolic statements, extreme howls of outrage, etc. Please make the effort, since it helps determine if we can manage decent discussion on particularly difficult newsy topics, or if we need to skip such posts. Thanks all.]
posted by taz at 4:06 AM on April 27 [16 favorites]


Professional, and for that matter College, sports have been institutes of exploitation for a very long time. These kind of comments by a rich team owner shouldn't surprise anyone.

Comments like this really bother me. Like when it turns out the NSA has been reading all my email forever and some guy is like, "Well, it's the NSA, that's what they do, it shouldn't surprise anyone."

Well, listen, I'm glad it doesn't surprise you because you've got it all figured out - the whole big picture long con - you've got it down while the rest of us struggle with our naïve outage.

People have maintained for a long time that Donald Sterling is a piece of shit racist. I've read stories about it for years. Hearing it like this? So raw and personal and explicit? This surprised me. This is so outrageous and so visceral that it surprised me.

So, I'm surprised.

And I don't think it's a professional basketball ownership culture thing. I don't think Mark Cuban or Tom Gores is going on about THE BLACKS. I think it's a Donald Sterling is a racist piece of shit thing.

And hearing it? Like this?

I'm surprised.

Some people would say what came before - Sterling apparently discriminating against blacks and hispanics for housing in his developments - is worse because it directly impacted so many people of color. I will steal what I heard someone say on Twitter.... They got Capone on taxes. Whatever works to ruin the son of a bitch.
posted by kbanas at 4:11 AM on April 27 [42 favorites]


It is crazy that he thinks he 'owns the rights' to a group of human beings and could trade them for other human beings for money or something. It is not like they have a televised auction where a group of millionaires gather to select people after physical exams and then those people are forced to relocate if they want to earn a living.

This is about as disingenuous an interpretation of the game of basketball - or any professional sport - as I've ever read.
posted by kbanas at 4:14 AM on April 27 [18 favorites]


Hey Magic Johnson, I can't offer you tickets to a Clippers game, but if you want to watch my son play soccer, we've got great seats!
posted by newdaddy at 4:17 AM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Worlds best on-court basketball strategist: Chris Paul.

Clippers highest paid employee: Chris Paul.

Head of Players Association: Chris Paul.

Guy who David Stern screwed when he nixed a trade to the freakin' Lakers: Chris Paul.

Which means if Silver tries to say he 'doesn't have the authority' to do anything, the Players Association could cluck that the NAACP may propose a WorldWide boycott of NBA games. Paul already did a bounce pass by personally releasing a letter, as head of the NBPA, which had KJ speak for him.

Chris Paul: "We have asked [Sacramento] Mayor Kevin Johnson to expand his responsibilities with the NBPA"

Kevin Johnson: "reprehensible and unacceptable."

Chris Paul: Thank you, Kevin. {Okay, I don't know that he said that.}
posted by dragonsi55 at 4:18 AM on April 27


Kbanas... I never said I wasn't "outraged", I said I wasn't surprised. I also didn't accuse anyone of being naive, nor did I say I "have it all figured out". Please don't assign words to me that I didn't say.
posted by HuronBob at 4:23 AM on April 27 [4 favorites]


No, you said no one should be surprised - not that you weren't surprised. That's my point.
posted by kbanas at 4:27 AM on April 27 [11 favorites]


I hope that she's no longer his girlfriend after this (how did tmz get the audio?) not only because he is a racist dirtbag but also because of the way he is treating her in that argument. It is downright chilling. He sounds like a real piece of work.
posted by sockermom at 4:35 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Kabanas, point taken, I should have said that differently.
posted by HuronBob at 4:38 AM on April 27 [10 favorites]


I feel for the Clippers. There must be an incredibly strong desire, and a justified one, to walk off the court and say, screw you, Sterling, I can't go out there and make money for you today. On the other hand, you have a lot of fans pulling for you and those fans haven't done anything wrong. From the player tweets linked on Deadspin it sounds like the general consensus is "Rise above, you're a professional, do it for your team and your fans, not for the a-hole who owns the team and profits off the fans." And I get that. But it must be hard.

And besides: if the Clippers walked out, I'll bet they'd be punished by the league a lot more severely than Sterling ever will be. Am I wrong?
posted by escabeche at 4:43 AM on April 27 [5 favorites]


And I apologize for extrapolating meaning from that that you did not intend, so let's shake hands and agree that Donald Sterling blows.
posted by kbanas at 4:44 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


if the Clippers walked out, I'll bet they'd be punished by the league a lot more severely than Sterling ever will be. Am I wrong?

Spot on. Walking out would be meddling with the primal forces of nature...tv money.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:49 AM on April 27 [8 favorites]


If you haven't read the clips of his crazy deposition from 2003, you should.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:55 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


how did tmz get the audio?

This is what made me wonder about the article (the other stuff is relatively obvious...)- where's the basic journalism standards? Where did this recording come from? Who leaked it? Why? Etc. All those basic "five W's". Yes, he is a disgusting sounding man, and his relationship looks a bit...cliched...but where are the basic journalism standards, period? Sure, it's TMZ, I get it, but now this story is making much wider rounds, why aren't the basic details covered?
posted by bquarters at 4:59 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


"We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered."
Wow.

Seriously.

How does someone who is not a deeply racist piece of shit hear that tape and not know it wasn't them saying those deeply racist words? The only reason I can fathom for them not outright saying it was doctored is the fact that this is stemming from a dispute that is already in court, they know damn well that the tape has not been doctored, and they don't want to add libel or slander to the mix.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:10 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


"because of the way he is treating her in that argument"

I'd bet he habitually talks to her that way. If she leaves him, it would be a result of this tape exposing their abusive relationship.
posted by surplus at 5:28 AM on April 27


Well, he will probably leave her, unfortunately - abusers will often leave their victims when they are no longer useful to them (typically when they've demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that they know what's going on and they won't stand for it anymore). He will find someone new to abuse and to parade around and she will probably be left reeling, questioning herself and her choices. It's a cycle, and there were probably many "good times" for her with him, so the aftermath is going to be hard on her. I heard her say she has no friends in the audio. I hope she finds a good support system. She's going to have a hard time recovering, I imagine.

Not to derail, my natural instinct is to worry about her - and to hope for a boycott until he is ousted. This guy is a bad person - a Class A racist, mysogonistic jerk - and I'm tired of bad people being rewarded in our society.
posted by sockermom at 5:45 AM on April 27 [3 favorites]


I listened to about two thirds of the recording (in the first link) before feeling dirty and needing to turn it off. Did he not know before the argument that she is mixed race? I've heard racists rant before, but his was particularly nonsensical and disjointed. He's ok with her sleeping with black men, but appearing in photos with them is a step too far?

This is about as disingenuous an interpretation of the game of basketball - or any professional sport - as I've ever read.

There is definitely something strange about the business side of basketball, with primarily black players performing for a mixed audience, all largely owned by old white men.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:46 AM on April 27 [8 favorites]


I would like a player to direct strong and hateful curse words at Sterling during a press conference, thus forcing the hand of the new commissioner to act -- either against the player or against Sterling.

Perhaps this comment will pass the MeFi censors. Keep it #clean for the #teens, folks.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:49 AM on April 27


How does someone who is not a deeply racist piece of shit hear that tape and not know it wasn't them saying those deeply racist words?
It seems like that was from a statement by the team, not a statement by the guy. I know that TMZ says things like "Sterling and the team", but they never do so in quotes, and whenever they do quote something, the first person is "we" and the third person is "Mr. Sterling".

And the team doesn't know because either (1) They were afraid to ask or (2) They asked.
posted by Flunkie at 5:52 AM on April 27


So what censure ability does the league have against owners who bring it into disrepute? There's no doubt that he's a scumbag, and to use the McDonald's analogy, you'd be certain they would take action against a franchise acting in a manner that reflects badly on the brand.
posted by arcticseal at 5:53 AM on April 27


> So what censure ability does the league have against owners who bring it into disrepute?

I don't think any of the other owners would like to change the system to invite more scrutiny on themselves, either.
posted by ardgedee at 5:54 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Yeah, here is a link saying that the statement is from Clippers President Andy Roeser.
posted by Flunkie at 6:03 AM on April 27


Lebron's statement increased my respect for him immensely. He hasn't been afraid to speak out publicly on issues of race in America when the easiest and safest thing to do would be to keep quiet.

Contrast that with his predecessor and most common comparison, Michael Jordan. Jordan wouldn't take a stand if he thought doing so would hurt his marketability. This odious incident is another example of that, even though he's the only African-American principal owner of an NBA franchise (that I could find).

It's one of the reasons why Jordan, despite all his accomplishments, falls short to me: his social impact is limited strictly to dollars and cents.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 6:10 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Professional, and for that matter College, sports have been institutes of exploitation for a very long time. These kind of comments by a rich team owner shouldn't surprise anyone.

What continues to surprise me is how many people think they can say shit like this out loud and not get blowback from it. It really shouldn't surprise me, and yet. I guess I expect that even if you are a racist asshole, you will know enough to shut the fuck up. More fool me.
posted by rtha at 6:16 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


I feel for the Clippers players - this is surely a really difficult situation. They are all focused on the playoff series with the Warriors. They probably also don't have much experience as spokespeople or ambassadors or otherwise being public representatives of America's continuing racial struggles.

That being said if I was Chris Paul I would get with fellow North Carolinian Steph Curry and talk about the legacy of the Durham and Greensboro sit-ins. If BOTH the Clippers and the Warriors just sat down at center court after the jump ball, could the NBA declare either team a winner? Could they just pass the ball back and forth periodically to keep from getting 10-second backcourt violations?

I think if the game goes on, that's kind of a sad commentary on how seriously we really take this kind of speech on the part of Sterling.
posted by Slothrop at 6:19 AM on April 27


It's one of the reasons why Jordan, despite all his accomplishments, falls short to me

I don't think it's fair to hold all black people to a high standard of racial activist heroism. Maybe it's ok for a black man in American society to just enjoy some hard-won near-normalcy.
posted by prefpara at 6:20 AM on April 27 [35 favorites]


Slothrop: I think if the game goes on, that's kind of a sad commentary on how seriously we really take this kind of speech on the part of Sterling professional sports.

FTF... ah, fuck it. White people's money will always matter more than black people's humanity.
posted by tzikeh at 6:28 AM on April 27 [3 favorites]


It's worth mentioning that Sterling's comments were in reference to Magic Johnson of all people. Magic Johnson And he owns a a franchise in LA.

I know it probably shouldn't, but for some reason this makes it even worse to me. He wasn't railing against some faceless Other he'd never met. He was saying this against a Human Being he surely knows well, and someone he has definitely interacted with many, many times.

So this isn't even ignorance. And it's not even just projecting disgusting stereotypes on an idea, as awful as that would be. It was him referring to a (beloved, extremely well-liked) colleague like this.

He's an irredeemable piece of shit.
posted by graphnerd at 6:52 AM on April 27 [14 favorites]


Odds that Magic ends up owning the Clippers in the next five years? Gotta be good and getting better.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:55 AM on April 27 [4 favorites]


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: " Never forget."

Interestingly, the rant I read was all like "I don't care if you fuck black guys. Just don't be seen in public with them."

Yeah, here's the quote: "-- "You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games"

I don't even get that shit, like, fuck em but don't be seen in public with them, and don't ... bring them to... games? of which many players are black? The fuck, dude? And how do shitheads like this ever get in power? Just being born to the right family, and/or being a bully, I suppose.
posted by symbioid at 7:02 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


But the Roberts led Supreme Court told me racism in America was a thing of the past. I'm feeling totally bamboozled now.
posted by vonstadler at 7:11 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


I was gonna comment, but Snoop basically said what I was gonna say.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:14 AM on April 27 [3 favorites]


One of the things that stood out for me was the stance that James took. Jordan had sway. He could have used that sway, and no, it's not fair to demand that any minority figure use their influence in a way they don't want, but his line, "republicans buy shoes too" ignored his fans who scrimped and saved to buy his shoes. James, whom I loathe as a Bulls fan, gave me more reason to admire him with his words than Jordan ever did.

Still, one of the most telling comments, from the former players link, is Stu Jackson, former VP in the league, saying

Four words we will rarely ever hear again, "Clippers Free Agent Signee"
posted by Ghidorah at 7:15 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's fair to hold all black people to a high standard of racial activist heroism. Maybe it's ok for a black man in American society to just enjoy some hard-won near-normalcy.
posted by prefpara at 6:20 AM on April 27


Two things here:
1) I wouldn't think that denouncing racism in politics or among the small coterie that is NBA ownership is a high standard of racial activism; and
2)The 'falling short' is in consideration to Jordan's stature as a sportsman. He's commonly cited as one of the greatest of the 20th century, but some of his contemporaries in that class DID engage in activism for the positive (Robinson, Ali), which I think elevates them above a guy who was an incredible talent and savvy pitchman, but nothing more.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 7:19 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Can we have a celebrity boxing match with this guy and Dan Snyder?
posted by bukvich at 7:28 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Ghidorah: Four words we will rarely ever hear again, "Clippers Free Agent Signee"

I dunno, maybe they'll get more guys with "hustle", "grit", and "a high basketball IQ".
posted by tonycpsu at 7:29 AM on April 27


Basic TV subscriptions is where the NBA gets most of their income. Dump DISH, DirectTV, Comcast, etc.

Really that's about the only thing non-ticketholders could do that would register with NBA owners.
posted by surplus at 7:47 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


I've read a fair amount of longform journalism on Michael Jordan, because I live in Charlotte and follow the NBA closely, in particular his team, the Bobcats.

I've read a few different pieces that give a bit more complex picture with regards to his stance on racism in society, as well as his own perception of the African-American experience in the US.

First, his oft-quoted statement "Republicans buy sneakers, too" can't reliably be attributed to him. He is not recorded as saying that, but rather it was something another source said he said in private. He may have said that (it is believable given other statements he has made), but it's not like he said this at a press conference.

Second, really longform journalistic pieces have pointed out before that he has exhibited a "go-along get-along" attitude with regard to race for most of his life. If you check out this page of his biography, he is quoted as saying "Don't worry about race unless someone slaps you in the face." That's not the attitude I have, but you can see that it might have been a coping mechanism he was encouraged to develop early in life.

Third, perhaps in atonement for his missed opportunity with Harvey Gantt, Jordan did headline a fairly high-profile Obama re-election dinner. This was made quite public here in Charlotte, and he didn't seem to want to backpedal from it at all.

Lastly, I think it's possible he might make a statement later. I DO think Jordan the owner is quite keen to protect the power of the owners. In that way, he is very Republican - he practically lead the charge for a stronger collective bargaining agreement which gave the owners an even better deal versus the players than they already had.
posted by Slothrop at 7:53 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


tonycpsu, honestly, the NBA players are members of a union of roughly five hundred members. In any industry, in any labor issue, there are scabs, but they aren't well liked. In the very unlikely outcome where Sterling maintains control of the team, I wouldn't be surprised to see players actively avoiding the team in free agency. The union was crushed in the last lockout, and this, if nothing else, is a can't miss opportunity for the new, not blatantly corrupt and incompetent leadership to say, hey, if he's in charge, we're not sending employees to his shop.

I honestly think the league is smart enough to realize it would be suicide to side with Sterling (anything less than him being forced to sell the team, honestly), who has just been outed as such a bigot that he doesn't want his girlfriend to associate with Magic Johnson, who makes Wayne Brady threatening by comparison, against the players that make the league possible, and who have a very, very strong reason for pretty much any stance going forward. Baron Davis has already come forward talking about being a player for the Clippers under Sterling, surely enough can be convinced to come forward to make a convincing case of a hostile workplace due to blatant racism.

If there is any legal way to force Sterling out, I imagine it's already in the works. The league can't afford to have players on a team that many feel has a chance to win the championship talking, even in a closed meeting, about the possibility of refusing to play in nationally televised games. The league can't afford to have the reigning MVP of the league, someone who current players have said "I wear 23 because Lebron wore it", admitting that he doubts he'd play for an owner like that.

I'd love if this actually caused change. Given the blatant racists coming out of the woodwork on Deadspin and other sites, and people attacking Sterling's girlfriend and defending Sterling as being free to say whatever he wants, I'm afraid it won't. Anyone who's willing to say racism doesn't exist needs to look at that shit, but then again, people who believe that are probably the same as the people posting that poison.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:53 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


The NBA should force him to sell the team. And, we have a couple of folks up here in Seattle that are looking to buy...
posted by Windopaene at 7:56 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


yeah, never forget.
Sterling is also the Slumlord Billionaire, a man who made his fortune by building low-income housing, and then, according to a Justice Department lawsuit, developing his own racial quota system to decide who gets the privilege of renting his properties. In November of 2009, Sterling settled the suit with the US Department of Justice for $2.73 million, the largest ever obtained by the government in a discrimination case involving apartment rentals.
[...]
says he did not like to rent to “Hispanics” because “Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building.” He also stated that “black tenants smell and attract vermin.”"
posted by nadawi at 7:57 AM on April 27 [13 favorites]


i am a charter los angeles lakers fan - since the team moved there from minneapolis - and i am lovin' this shit. i was refreshing latimes.com yesterday like O.O. people been asking me last several months "well, your team didn't make the playoffs, so, you'll root for the clippers instead?"

*baleful stare*

"oh."

peak schadenfreude here. for many years, donald sterling has been renowned as the dumbest owner in the league. he's in a class all by himself. for comparison, you have to look to marge schott in baseball, or georgia frontiere in football (with irsay and bidwill hot on her heels). i've never seen anything quite like this. this is the absolute worst thing that could have happened to the clippers during a playoff run - worse than a chris paul injury. i thought about posting the fpp about this, but knew by the time i awoke this morning, someone would save me the trouble.

it's a shame elgin baylor lost his case. this vindication must be sweet for a man who, if he were in the league today at his prime, would be better than lebron james.

that was no ordinary black man sterling was, uh, referencing, that was MAGIC FUCKING JOHNSON. now that phil jackson is no longer available, many of us are hoping that the buss family, obviously in deep over their heads, will bring mr. johnson in to run their dysfunctional organization.

sterling's wife rochelle is suing him over this. the allegation is that her husband gave his hotsie-totsie a ferrari, two bentleys and a range rover, plus 1.8 mil to buy a pad in WLA. you can think of her as the worst sort of common goods, but you have to acknowledge that making several million dollars over four years on your back with an 80 y.o. - and particularly this 80 y.o. - is not a pleasant or easy undertaking, and maybe she should have charged more.

we'll be back. LET'S GO LAKERS!
posted by bruce at 8:06 AM on April 27 [6 favorites]


Haven't had a lot of of opportunities to say this over the past year, but today I'm proud to be a Lakers fan.
posted by The Gooch at 8:09 AM on April 27 [4 favorites]


symbiod: I don't even get that shit, like, fuck em but don't be seen in public with them, and don't ... bring them to... games? of which many players are black?

What seems confusing to many seems emotionally simple to me but what do I know?!

To me this is an old guy who is valuable only because he's wealthy. He's not smart, athletic, graceful, or anything interesting. He's just flabby, aging, fat wallet and he knows that.

But, by gum, he doesn't want people to flout in his face that his hot piece of tail is getting tupped by the help.

Race is just part of the psychodramatic mix. Sterlilng knows Stiviano is mixed race and that she loves blacks, Hispanics, and probably whites. Why wouldn't she love tall, muscular, athletic hump horses of all colors?

The rub comes when Stiviano posts on Instagram a pic of her and Johnson "walking together" (I'm reminded of the recurring SNL caveman skit wherein "walk with" is euphemism for sex), and YOU KNOW Sterling's drinking buddies are all "Your woman's getting it good from the blacks!!! ㄴㅇㄴ" which taunt engorges Sterling with hot groin-constricting shame.

So as Sterling and Stiviano are having a heart-to-heart, he tries to "reason" with her that appearances must be maintained, but you can tell race isn't the core of the issue because when Stiviano brings up Larry Bird Sterling suddenly can't find his tongue. The imagined scenario of Stiviano walking with Larry Bird literally (if momentarily) leaves Sterling speechless.

My sense (I know I'm likely far afield here but I've come this far, right?!) is that if Stiviano started walking with Larry Bird, well then, Sterling could do nothing but shut up because his trophy—by dint of "broadcasting" on Instagram that she was walking with a man who is both his physical superior and racial equal—would have gained the agency in this emotional tableau.

Along these lines, it's interesting to think of the inherit tension between media domains, too: as owner of the Clippers, Sterling and his assemblages generate value, reputation, opinion, business, etc. through broadcast media (network TV, cable TV, radio, etc) which Stiviano upsets through her tactical use of social media.
posted by mistersquid at 8:14 AM on April 27 [5 favorites]


nadawi: "...says he did not like to rent to “Hispanics” because “Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building.” He also stated that “black tenants smell and attract vermin."

what
posted by double block and bleed at 8:14 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Oh and, yeah, professional sports in the US is in many respects a minstrel show.

It's not *only* that but it largely is and this fact is unavoidable regardless of your honorable intentions.
posted by mistersquid at 8:15 AM on April 27


“As the investigation is in progress, we urge the LA Branch of the NAACP to withdraw Donald Sterling from the honoree list at its upcoming Gala. We also suggest that African Americans and Latinos should honor his request and not attend the games."

-Alice Huffman, President of the NAACP California State Conference
posted by The Hamms Bear at 8:23 AM on April 27 [13 favorites]


On the discussion of various African-American basketball players and their stands on social issues.

Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time, he has no equal. Part of what makes him such a fascinating personality is his monomaniacal competitive drive. As a result, he's not a good candidate to take a stand on any social issue. His analog in professional sports is Tiger Woods, who could have made an unbelievable mark in history by boycotting Augusta G.C. and the Masters right from the start. One athlete could have bent the will of that entire racist, sexist club, but that's not who he is. Jordan and Woods cared about winning in their sports, and that's it.

LeBron, by contrast, has a LOT of fun with what he does. He's a transcendent athlete but doesn't have the same kind of motivation that Jordan did for his game. And that's part of what makes LeBron such a fascinating personality, that he has some balance and is still the best player of his generation. They are very, very different people. Tip of the cap to LeBron for publicly calling for Sterling's ouster (which I think, sadly, will never happen unless the Clippers really do just stop playing).

FWIW, I also believe that this kind of difference is a major factor in why Shaq and Kobe didn't get along.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:28 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


shaq and kobe didn't get along because one basketball on the court at a time isn't nearly enough.
posted by bruce at 8:31 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Oh hey cool now Gawker has a 15 minute version.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:31 AM on April 27


Personally, I hope Silver forces a sale to the group in Seattle.

One can dream.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 8:32 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


The longer and even more damning version.
posted by Etrigan at 8:34 AM on April 27


“As the investigation is in progress, we urge the LA Branch of the NAACP to withdraw Donald Sterling from the honoree list at its upcoming Gala. We also suggest that African Americans and Latinos should honor his request and not attend the games."

And people of any race/heritage/culture/ethnic-group with just an ounce of empathy in them.
posted by marsha56 at 8:34 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Teams should be owned by the players, management, and local government (city/state). The fact that they are owned by billionaire white dudes (largely) is without a doubt one of the weirdest things about pro sports.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:35 AM on April 27 [15 favorites]


And no lifetime achievement award for him now. I hope that's the beginning of his comeuppance.
posted by leslies at 8:35 AM on April 27


You know, as a Lakers fan, I'm genuinely happy for Clippers fans that their team is doing well. They're loyal fans, and that ain't easy in the shadow of the Lakers, even with this current team.

As an 42-year long Angeleno and 49-year old human being, I'm revolted, but I'm also not surprised. I'm just going to point to bruce's comment and nadawi's comment above, because it sums up everything for me.

And as far as his comments about future L.A Mayor/Lakers GM Magic Johnson? Fuck. You. You. Fucking. Slumlord. I hope the LAT shuts downs just so you won't be able to run your self-congratulatory full pages ads anymore.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:36 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


arsenio, the template you're looking for is the publicly owned green bay packers. they are unique in american pro sports, and this template is unlikely to be seen again because public ownership gives the man on the street greater access to the league's financial information.
posted by bruce at 8:39 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


i don't understand how a man like sterling was even up for the lifetime achievement from the naacp - his racism is absolutely not new. like, i know, awards are just money - but he used to drive around his slums looking for (usually black) tenants he didn't like and evicting them for having potted plants on their balconies.
posted by nadawi at 8:40 AM on April 27 [5 favorites]


Yes I know that that's why I advocate for it. Problem is NFL owners voted to restrict other teams from adopting same business model. Only way it can happen is if new league formed. Players have to do it. Imagine if LeBron, KD, and Chris Paul said they were starting their own league. Would take 5-7 years to transition players out of contracts, sign new deals with cities, etc.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:43 AM on April 27


Teams should be owned by the players, management, and local government (city/state). The fact that they are owned by billionaire white dudes (largely) is without a doubt one of the weirdest things about pro sports.

It's not actually that weird if you look at it historically. Are athletics really a municipal (or any other kind of governmental) function? I don't see a problem with letting the market (and capitalists) figure out where and which professional athletics will exist. The bad part is when they start getting passed around by billionaires who obviously just want the prestige of owning a team. Sterling is the fourth owner of the Clippers (nee Braves), and is a pure rentier. He didn't put any money or skill or even effort into building up the league or the sport of the team -- he just gave a bunch of money to a guy who had given a bunch of money to a guy who had given a bunch of money to a guy who gave a bunch of money to an already-established league to start an expansion team. He makes money (from the Clippers) based on owning them, not based on investing in them or leading them or improving them.

I don't know what the model for improvement is, though, short of municipalities banding together to say "We're never giving you another penny in direct or indirect (e.g. police presence) money until you agree that cities have A) right of refusal for moves and B) first bid when teams go up for sale."
posted by Etrigan at 8:48 AM on April 27


The sad part for me is that the Clippers team is excellent and interesting, the fans are long suffering, in a town that ignored them for years, and now none of this can get me to root for them. Donald Sterling is too large of a asshole for me to wish anything he is involved with any kind of success. As awesome as it would be for Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and company to hoist the O'Brien trophy, that would all be under the shadow of thinking about how slave-owner like pride Sterling would take in the accomplishments of "his" players.
posted by enjoymoreradio at 8:52 AM on April 27


etrigan, the model for improvement is a city suing in eminent domain to condemn a team. we already know cities can condemn land to benefit another private interest (see: kelo v. city of new london, CT), and this would be a public interest.
posted by bruce at 8:55 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


I'm going to keep thinking pro sports ownership is weird until I see a similar business model: what else is a billion dollar business with no CEO, no BOD, state subsidized, extremely popular, culturally significant. It's super weird and the only reason people think it isn't weird is because it's always been this way.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:59 AM on April 27 [12 favorites]


The Clippers are going to have a hard time today. I know this has nothing to do with anyone who's going to be on the court, but Warriors fans are merciless. Expect "Sterling sucks" and "Fuck you Sterling" chants. And people are going to heckle the players with things like "Your owner hates you!" and "Who signs your checks?" and "Why do you play for this team?" Morale is going to be an issue.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:05 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


This is a serious question: can someone with any inside knowledge explain to me, in a thoughtful way (not just a tossed off, "awards are money") why the NAACP has recognized him in the past, and is slated to offer him a lifetime award now?

There's more audio available now, and it's stunningly awful (which is saying a lot at this point):

Further Donald Sterling Audio—"I Support Them and Give Them Food"
posted by blue suede stockings at 9:09 AM on April 27 [4 favorites]


does anyone have the instagram pictures being argued about?
posted by nadawi at 9:15 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


It's super weird and the only reason people think it isn't weird is because it's always been this way.

Well, yes, but it's weird because it's always been this way. Three of your five criteria (state subsidy, popularity, cultural significance) weren't the case for the NBA (or any other given professional sports league) when it started. When a bunch of guys said, "Hey, I think there's enough basketball fans out there that we can ask them to pay money to see a bunch of guys play basketball in a regular league," they were gambling that it would eventually work out in their favor (and for a lot of them, it didn't -- every sport has stories of professional teams that went broke).

So it grew up that way, which is admittedly "weird" or "nonstandard," but not inexplicably so. It's a luxury service industry that makes much more money selling itself to an intermediary consumer at nearly zero additional cost (television) than it makes selling itself direct to the consumer (ticket sales). The whole business is weird; not just the ownership scheme.
posted by Etrigan at 9:16 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


I don't think this has been posted:

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s Press Conference on Donald Sterling

I literally can't hear the questions being asked, but in the press conference Silver said that Sterling will not attened today's game.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:23 AM on April 27


Are athletics really a municipal (or any other kind of governmental) function?

No. Well, only when it comes time for the public to pay for a new stadium and hand it over to the team owner. But at all other times, no.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:39 AM on April 27 [17 favorites]


arsenio, the template you're looking for is the publicly owned green bay packers. they are unique in american pro sports, and this template is unlikely to be seen again because public ownership gives the man on the street greater access to the league's financial information.

The model of the Green Bay Packers is also now explicitly outlawed by the NFL as well. Most likely because it is dangerous for one of the leagues major revenue streams - the blackmail motivated public stadium subsidy.
posted by srboisvert at 9:40 AM on April 27 [15 favorites]


Well, only when it comes time for the public to pay for a new stadium and hand it over to the team owner. But at all other times, no.

This is a particular sore spot for many folks who were living in Seattle in the 90s. The city is still paying off the bond on the Kingdome which was demolished in 2000.
posted by jessamyn at 9:54 AM on April 27 [11 favorites]


Oh, and when the government sets up antitrust exemptions for sports leagues, effectively making them monopolies, but at all other times, no.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:18 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


"Extended" audio is out. My two "favorite" parts:
"Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do [the players] make the game?"
They do! Thanks for asking.
"There’s no racism here. If you don’t want to be walking into a basketball game with a certain person, is that racism?"
Maybe, maybe not. But if you don't want your girlfriend to walk into a basketball game with any person of a certain race, well, uh, I guess I'm going to go with "Yes"?
posted by Flunkie at 10:22 AM on April 27 [3 favorites]


This is a particular sore spot for many folks who were living in Seattle in the 90s.

And a sore spot for Minneapolis as well. Minneapolitans expressly went to the polls and voted on an amendment that said that no city taxes could be levied to pay for sports stadiums without allowing the citizens to vote on it. And that if it were voted down, no city money would go to building stadiums. With both the new Twins and new Vikings stadiums, the mayor, the governor and the state legislature rode roughshod over the clearly expressed intent of the citizens of Minneapolis and levied new Minneapolis taxes to build new stadiums. I have gone from a person who only cared about sports from time to time to a person who actively hates all pro-sports and thinks they can't die out soon enough.
posted by marsha56 at 10:25 AM on April 27 [19 favorites]


Sterling is the fourth owner of the Clippers (nee Braves), and is a pure rentier.

This is why I don't find the pro-sports model to be weird - humans have been doing rent seeking since we came up with agriculture, and what the NBA is doing isn't significantly different than contemporary corporate models. (I think a social species like ourselves should find rent seeking to be utterly bizarre and poisonous but that's for another thread.) If anything the power of the players versus the relative lack of power of employees at "everyday" companies has made the pro sports leagues more progressive through their labor agreements (even with the NBA players having completely blown their current deal).

If you looked at the commentary from the owners during the recent NFL and NBA lockouts the seething hatred of the players daring to get a guaranteed slice of the revenue pie was very palpable. When the pro team owners look at their buddies over at the banks who have come to a place where they have the government print money for them and can conduct illegal asset seizures with little consequence, it's not surprising that they feel entitled to the entire pie themselves.
posted by MillMan at 10:33 AM on April 27 [5 favorites]


Magic Johnson tweets:

TMZ reported this morning that Clippers owner Donald Sterling doesn't want me or other African-Americans to come to Clippers games.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 26, 2014

.@cjbycookie and I will never go to a Clippers game again as long as Donald Sterling is the owner.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 26, 2014

I feel sorry for my friends Coach Doc Rivers and Chris Paul that they have to work for a man that feels that way about African Americans.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 26, 2014

LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling's comments about African Americans are a black eye for the NBA.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 26, 2014

(@cjbycookie is Magic's wife.)
posted by Room 641-A at 10:42 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


When the pro team owners look at their buddies over at the banks who have come to a place where they have the government print money for them and can conduct illegal asset seizures with little consequence, it's not surprising that they feel entitled to the entire pie themselves.

Yeah but those are publicly traded companies with shareholders; CEOs are often replaced after a few years, so I dunno I really don't see the similarity.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:46 AM on April 27


One of the warriors insiders mentioned that 230 press passes were issues for tonight's game. 130 were issued the previous game. Usually 60 in regular season.
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:52 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


NAACP drops plan to honor Donald Sterling

This is a serious question: can someone with any inside knowledge explain to me, in a thoughtful way (not just a tossed off, "awards are money") why the NAACP has recognized him in the past, and is slated to offer him a lifetime award now?

I don't think there is more of an explanation than that he's donated a bunch of money and hosted fundraisers. The list of people who are to be given awards that night include executives at FedEx and Walmart and a restaurant owner.
posted by riruro at 10:55 AM on April 27


Very sad to read about this manner of abhorrent behavior from someone in Sterling's post. I feel horribly for the true professionals in the organization, Doc and his players. They know one goal -- and NBA championship -- and they have to be encumbered with this during the playoffs.

Thinking long-term, vis-a-vis NBA and race, I hope the public's scrutiny (and players' scrutiny!) extends to the NBA/ownership's aim to raise the minimum age of players to 20. One man's despicable behavior easily accommodates the 'racist' label in a manner that gains traction throughout the media. Institutional behavior -- denying self-determination for elite athletes of 18 or 19 years old, the majority of whom are black -- is, in a relative sense, a non-issue.

I love the NBA, I promise to be a consumer of the NBA, its glaring warts and all, for the foreseeable future. It's a player's league, and I plan to watch 4 games and 0 owners today. What is really important? Tom Ziller's take:
No matter what stupid things come out of his mouth, Donald Sterling can't ruin the beautiful game. And when the Clippers take the court again on Sunday, when Chris Paul and Blake Griffin run a perfect pick-and-roll and DeAndre Jordan throws down a vicious dunk and Jamal Crawford crosses an opponent into next Tuesday, we'll see again that in spite of his best efforts, Donald Sterling has no relevance to the actual sport, and never will. The game doesn't need him or his money at all. The sport doesn't sway under his whims. How painful that must be for a man who thinks he matters in the NBA.
posted by Theophrastus Johnson at 11:13 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]


I was hoping President Obama would comment on this whole debacle- and he did! <3 <3 <3
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:16 AM on April 27 [2 favorites]


As a follow-up to my earlier comments, Michael Jordan did make a statement, a strong one, that is currently linked on ESPN's NBA site.
posted by Slothrop at 11:37 AM on April 27


"I look at this from two perspectives – as a current owner and a former player. As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly. As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA – or anywhere else – for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level.” - Michael Jordan
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:44 AM on April 27 [6 favorites]


how did tmz get the audio?

Did you hear the way he was talking to his girlfriend? I wouldn't be surprised if her phone was 'stolen' or 'hacked'.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:47 AM on April 27


as a current owner and a former player
...
There is no room in the NBA – or anywhere else – for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed
...
we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level.


Jordan with another triple-double.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:51 AM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Oh, and when the government sets up antitrust exemptions for sports leagues, effectively making them monopolies, but at all other times, no.

So only the NFL, then.
posted by Etrigan at 11:59 AM on April 27


And yes, I do agree that public funds for stadiums are ridiculous, but those are more easily seen as investments in proven commodities for a (largely theoretical) municipal good. Investment in a nascent professional sports league, on the other hand, is much, much less a public good that should be invested in by governments.
posted by Etrigan at 12:01 PM on April 27


Oh, and when the government sets up antitrust exemptions for sports leagues, effectively making them monopolies, but at all other times, no.

So only the NFL, then.


Ugh, sorry, only MLB, I meant.
posted by Etrigan at 12:02 PM on April 27


she says he knew he was being recorded.
posted by nadawi at 12:06 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


sockermom: "I hope that she's no longer his girlfriend after this (how did tmz get the audio?) not only because he is a racist dirtbag but also because of the way he is treating her in that argument. It is downright chilling. He sounds like a real piece of work."

Just to be clear, Sterling is married to a woman named Rochelle Stein (with whom he has three children). V. Stiviano is his girlfriend, who has several aliases, who is currently being sued by the wife for embezzling funds and defrauding Sterling to Rochelle Stein's detriment. The lawsuit alleges that Stiviano has several times before targeted wealthy older men as sugar daddies. Stein is separated from Sterling and Stiviano and Sterling are maybe separated as well, it's not totally clear.

Anyway, none of the "romantic" relationships going on here appear particularly functional. (But yeah, there's a lot of creepy, controlling sexist shit to unpack here along side the horrifying racism.)

I just keep wondering, Why on earth do you own an NBA franchise if you're a racist? It's not like to join the billionaire club you have to own a sports team in a very diverse sport with an extremely diverse fanbase. But then, I suppose nobody FORCED him to own apartments subject to the FHA, and that didn't really work out for him either. Poor racist billionaires, nowhere to put their money where it only has to touch white people. It's almost like he's an awful, immoral person who's unable to function within our social contract. (Oh, no, wait, it's EXACTLY like that.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:40 PM on April 27 [4 favorites]


Why on earth do you own an NBA franchise if you're a racist?

Unlike commercial real estate, owning an NBA team is guaranteed profit.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:45 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Sterling is married to a woman named Rochelle Stein (with whom he has three children). V. Stiviano is his girlfriend, who has several aliases, who is currently being sued by the wife for embezzling funds and defrauding Sterling to Rochelle Stein's detriment. The lawsuit alleges that Stiviano has several times before targeted wealthy older men as sugar daddies.

None of these people appear to live in the real world. I wonder how long they'd last if they needed to get, like, real jobs.
posted by Justinian at 12:45 PM on April 27 [4 favorites]


Just to be clear, Sterling is married to a woman named Rochelle Stein (with whom he has three children). V. Stiviano is his girlfriend, who has several aliases, who is currently being sued by the wife for embezzling funds and defrauding Sterling to Rochelle Stein's detriment. The lawsuit alleges that Stiviano has several times before targeted wealthy older men as sugar daddies. Stein is separated from Sterling and Stiviano and Sterling are maybe separated as well, it's not totally clear.

Per nadawi's link, Stiviano was "employed" by Sterling as his "archivist" and apparently was fired/dumped because she would not sign a retroactive confidentiality agreement about that conversation. So Sterling daaamn well knew what would happen if the tape ever saw the light of day.
posted by Etrigan at 1:03 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


during warmups the clippers removed their branded warmup jerseys and dropped them at center court. the team are all wearing black arm or wrist bands.

i had sort of hoped for a repeat of the '68 olympics but this seems good too and something players of all races can feel comfortable participating in.
posted by nadawi at 1:05 PM on April 27 [12 favorites]


What does the V stand for? Nobody seems to know?
posted by Justinian at 1:07 PM on April 27


during warmups the clippers removed their branded warmup jerseys and dropped them at center court. the team are all wearing black arm or wrist bands.

Sooo glad that no one appears to have worn blackface.
posted by Etrigan at 1:12 PM on April 27


"V" might represent the first initial of the girlfriend's name or alias.
posted by aydeejones at 1:15 PM on April 27


Justinian: "What does the V stand for? Nobody seems to know?"

Apparently Vanessa. Fabwags: "As for his girlfriend the mysterious V. Stiviano, we happened to know a few things. V stands for Vanessa, her full name is Maria Vanessa Perez, 38, she also goes by other aliases including Monica Gallegos, Maria Valdez and Vanessa Perez," (Also, Stiviano apparently suffers from terminal duckface on her instagram.) It's not totally clear whether they found those aliases online or from the lawsuit.

Vox has a pretty good explainer that gets into some of the player's union issues and the commissioner's possible responses and the background to those issues, which is something I was having trouble following.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:17 PM on April 27


I made this point on the recent Cliven Bundy discussion but it applies here, too. In his mind, Bundy is not racist because he defines racism only by its most extreme forms. Since he is not actively engaged in genocide, he's not a racist.

Using his rationale for denying housing to black and Hispanic renters, he believes he's basing his decision on facts - and surely facts cave be racist. With his girlfriend, he also believes he's basing his request/order on facts. Surely anybody can understand that her being seen at a game with a black man instead of him makes him look bad, he thinks.

It's not outside the realm of possibility that he's stunned that people are thinking he's racist. That's because he doesn't actually understand what racism is. A not insignificant portion of the country doesn't get it - which is why he still had his vocal backers.

This is a serious problem and, in my opinion, is why people like Chief Justice Roberts thinks there isn't racism in The USA anymore. If you define it as just meaning "murderous hatred" and refuse to recognize that it takes other forms, you can imagine it is mostly stamped out. Mostly.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:22 PM on April 27 [4 favorites]


i am also opposed to public financing of stadiums and other private assets. the grandaddy of all these deals, the origin of this thieving practice, was when los angeles gave walter o'malley chavez ravine outright to bring his dodgers out west. my dad used to rant about this when i was a kid.
posted by bruce at 1:39 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


It's not that I don't find Sterling vile, but as I had rarely heard of the man before this I don't have much of an impression of him against which this seems like a contrast.

The NAACP, on the other hand, is an organization with a national reputation to lose, and I think they're likely (and perhaps deserve) to lose big time on this. Despite backpedalling at the last minute, they were on the verge of handing a lifetime achievement award to a "slumlord" with an alleged history of beyond-the-pale racial views. On what was his lifetime achievement award then based? The size of his check? That puts them in a very compromised position to speak here and leaves the whole organization vulnerable to people who would like to paint them either shakedown artists or an organization willing to sell its principles for cash. They seem to have a lot of credibility at stake here and I'll be interested to see whether they follow through on this in a constructive manner or whether they act like they hope it will all go away as quickly as possible.
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:19 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


WE LIVE IN A CULTURE!

I just listened to the "extended" clip, and I must say the audio is surprisingly good -- you'd think the pointy white hood would have muffled his words more.
posted by uosuaq at 2:26 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


I try to stave off disappointment with sports in the US by having very low expectations but even by that standard this is disappointing. I guess I have to try harder.
posted by tommasz at 2:45 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Warriors 118 Clipper 97

Yay.
posted by bukvich at 3:35 PM on April 27


So if ESPN called Richard Sherman a thug dozens of times after he was excited from winning a game, what are they going to call Sterling a hundred times from this?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 4:04 PM on April 27 [8 favorites]


Scrappy.
posted by dirigibleman at 4:10 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


No, they'll call him racist. Or at least his statements. Why criticize them for things they aren't doing when there are so many better things for which to criticize them?
posted by Justinian at 4:16 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


That's because he doesn't actually understand what racism is. A not insignificant portion of the country doesn't get it - which is why he still had his vocal backers.

It is a lifelong quest to try to understand the plight of someone from a different socio-economic background, one which we are all working on. Of course, some are a lot further along, and some don't seem to be trying. Strong and unanimous disapproval may encourage the laggards to try to keep up. On the other hand, the contemporary flourishing of retrograde groups and the social approval and praise piled on ethical retards like Rush Limbaugh and his ilk only serve to undermine people's social maturation by sending them down dead ends.
posted by goethean at 5:19 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


How Portland sports fans insult the opposing team
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:51 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


Apparently Donald Sterling takes out ads congratulating himself on lots of things in the LA Times:
The one below, from today's paper, is typical. They're all the same: they have terrible, amateur production values; they all use the exact same cutout portrait of Sterling; and they all feature photos of the people honoring Sterling that look like they were taken with a 60s-era Instamatic. These ads appear multiple times a week. Sometimes multiple times a day. Sterling is constantly being honored for something or other, and every single honor is an occasion for him to advertise the fact in the LA Times. And always with the exact same cutout photo of himself.
There's also a link to a blog that has "been tracking Sterling's ads for years".
posted by Flunkie at 8:52 PM on April 27 [3 favorites]


This is a serious question: can someone with any inside knowledge explain to me, in a thoughtful way (not just a tossed off, "awards are money") why the NAACP has recognized him in the past, and is slated to offer him a lifetime award now?

He gives a couple of thousand tickets away for each home game to youth groups.
posted by smackfu at 7:54 AM on April 28


jay smooth, as always, knocks it out of the park.
posted by nadawi at 8:03 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


I haven't even listened to the tape, because fuck that guy, but the partial transcripts on Deadspin are just pathetic:
DS: You're a mental case, you're really a mental case. The Holocaust, we're comparing with—

V: Racism! Discrimination.

DS: There's no racism here. If you don't want to be... walking... into a basketball game with a certain... person, is that racism?
I would accuse Sterling of trolling, except that it would imply that the last 30 years of his life have been one Long Troll. You can almost hear the ka-thunk in his head when he is about to say "walking into a basketball game with a certain…" and then he realizes "hmm, can't say race next, I know that much," and then says "person" as though the problem is just the individual rather than the color of his skin.

I am fed up, weary that we are having to deal with this in the year 2014, yet I'm also weirdly fascinated at this movement to "define down" racism. In this way, Donald Sterling is no different from the person on Reddit who tried to explain to me that joking about a black person robbing one's apartment isn't racist — that racism is if he had said "all black people should die." Which, taken at face value, is a definition so narrow that it excludes Strom Thurmond, George Wallace, Marge Schott, all slaveowners, and anyone else not currently wearing a white sheet.

To paraphrase Ta-Nehisi Coates, if this isn't racism, then there is no racism.
posted by savetheclocktower at 9:17 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]


nadawi: jay smooth, as always, knocks it out of the park
When I first saw your link I was almost disappointed that it was this that Jay Smooth finally beat the hater for, particularly when the park involved here seems so small, but fuck was that video not a waste of his considerable talents. Wow.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:27 AM on April 28


Jay Smooth says or so much better than I can. Excuse me while I swoon for a moment.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:42 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Per MSNNC: CarMax has dropped their Clippers sponsorship, State Farm is "taking a pause."

On the sexism angle, this line really bothered me:
"You're just a big fighter, I can see. Who would want to live with a woman like you? Who would want to live with a woman like you?"
posted by Room 641-A at 10:11 AM on April 28


"I hope he's like the Tupac of unreleased racism tapes, and we can put them all together in a box set called 'Here's what they think about you.'"

Damn.
posted by echocollate at 10:13 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Magic Johnson and his billionaire backers, the Guggenheim Partners, want a chance to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:20 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I feel for the Clippers players - this is surely a really difficult situation.

the players are the last people i sympathize with in this situation. your owner is widely revealed a a racist (and apparently everybody has known it for years) who views you as intrinsically less than himself, and the best you can manage is a 'show of protest'? why are you showing up at all? if that's the best you can do, then you're part of the problem. you've accepted having a price put on your dignity, and you've chosen to protect that payoff rather than taking a real stand.

yeah, we should condemn racism and withhold support for perpetuating it wherever we can. but i lend no support to players who are too cowardly and self-serving to challenge that culture.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 10:25 AM on April 28


Virgin Airlines has also dropped sponsorship.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:28 AM on April 28


the players are the last people i sympathize with in this situation.

An exemplary display of human empathy. Brave.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:42 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


Yeah, you know what's even worse than racists? People whose paychecks are signed by racists. That's the real problem here.
posted by Etrigan at 10:49 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


why are you showing up at all?

Well, part of the problem is that yesterday's game was an away game, so not showing up would have mostly just screwed over the fans, players, and owners of the Golden State Warriors and not appreciably affected Sterling himself.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:49 AM on April 28


i want every single person who is condemning the players to tell us who their ceo is. my bet is that most of them are getting their checks signed by awful people, and yet they're still showing up to work.
posted by nadawi at 10:55 AM on April 28 [5 favorites]


People whose paychecks are signed by racists. That's the real problem here.

Does this only apply to professional basketball players?
posted by Room 641-A at 10:56 AM on April 28


Yeah, you know what's even worse than racists? People whose paychecks are signed by racists. That's the real problem here.

sterling's racism is destructive to our culture as a whole. what is becoming more obvious is that his racism has been enabled, in part, by a lot of people who have been willing to overlook it for the sake of a paycheck, ignoring that it is destructive to our culture as a whole and destructive to a whole lot of people who don't have the same luxury of crying all the way to the bank.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 11:01 AM on April 28


sterling's racism is destructive to our culture as a whole. what is becoming more obvious is that his racism has been enabled, in part, by a lot of people who have been willing to overlook it for the sake of a paycheck, ignoring that it is destructive to our culture as a whole and destructive to a whole lot of people who don't have the same luxury of crying all the way to the bank.

His racism was enabled to a much, much greater degree by the leadership of the NBA -- the commissioner and the owners -- who refused to sanction him in any way whatsoever over the course of the years. Assigning any but the faintest shadow of the blame for enabling Sterling's vileness to the players -- and particularly doing so over 1) the commissioner, 2) the other owners, 3) the advertisers, 4) the networks and even 5) the fans is... well, I can't imagine how you get to that point.
posted by Etrigan at 11:05 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


It's not like the players chose to play for Sterling. By and large they were assigned there by league rules negotiated by their union.
posted by chrchr at 11:12 AM on April 28 [3 favorites]


bruce: "etrigan, the model for improvement is a city suing in eminent domain to condemn a team. we already know cities can condemn land to benefit another private interest (see: kelo v. city of new london, CT), and this would be a public interest."

Using eminent domain against sports teams does not have a particularly successful history. Admittedly, those examples are pre-Kelo, but the main issue - that the property is moveable - remains.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:17 AM on April 28


> sterling's racism is destructive to our culture as a whole. what is becoming more obvious is that his racism has been enabled, in part, by a lot of people who have been willing to overlook it for the sake of a paycheck, ignoring that it is destructive to our culture as a whole and destructive to a whole lot of people who don't have the same luxury of crying all the way to the bank.

The worst that can happen to Sterling right now is that he's forced to sell the team, and NBA teams are going for princely sums these days. He might have to fight a lawsuit or two, but Sterling will die a very wealthy man, probably wealthier than he is right now.

NBA players make a lot of money — and then they retire, hopefully at the end of a long career but sometimes very abruptly after they break a bone or tear a tendon. They have a window of time (of unknown length) in which to profit off of their talent. Any acts of defiance like the ones you want are thus, in my view, especially noble, because these players are in a system where only the very elite (the LeBrons and the Chris Pauls) know they can speak their minds and find a job even if they fall out of favor with their current team.

I understand the people who wish that Clippers players had done more to rebuke their owner, but I want us to be careful not to make this about His Enablers instead of the shitbag who said the racist things in the first place. What "enables" a racist is certainly up for argument, and even if we agreed on that, the moral weight that falls on an "enabler" of Sterling's is a tiny fraction of what should be resting Atlas-like atop Sterling himself. He's has been an NBA owner for more than 30 years, and the question we should be asking is why the league lets him be an owner, not how Hedo Türkoğlu can look himself in the mirror.
posted by savetheclocktower at 11:40 AM on April 28 [11 favorites]


No more YMCA for the Clippers
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:52 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I've been getting a giggle over the whole "Sterling is a Democrat so therefore racism doesn't exist" thing. Drudge, Brietbart, etc have been all over it.

Apparently, fact checking is hard work. Sterling is a registered Republican.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:02 PM on April 28


he's a republican who donates to democrats. his politics are "money" and it's dumb of either side to try to count his political affiliations as a win.
posted by nadawi at 12:07 PM on April 28 [4 favorites]


The thing that got me about the "AHA! HE'S A DEMOCRAT!" thing is that it seems to be used as a counterpoint to Bundy. As if "There is a racist person who is a conservative", and not "Conservatives in general have treated this racist as a hero", is the problem with the Bundy situation.
posted by Flunkie at 12:11 PM on April 28


oh yeah - it's totally a thing. i think there's even a website that tracks how often fox, seemingly purposefully, misidentifies party affiliation.
posted by nadawi at 12:12 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


rochelle, his wife of 50+ years, 3 kids, is looking good in all this. she went to last night's game dressed in all-black and publicly denounced him. i'm on her side.

all this time and no admission, no denial, no extenuation or mitigation, no contextualization, no PR or "getting ahead of the story", and no apology; what's he think gonna happen, he goes in his bunnyhole, and when he decides to come out, it's all over?

i could have 20s and 30s hanging on my arm in public too, but i know what people would be whispering behind me "omg look at that fool."
posted by bruce at 12:23 PM on April 28


Homeboy Sandman: Black People are Cowards
posted by box at 1:06 PM on April 28


Yeah, you know what's even worse than racists? People whose paychecks are signed by racists. That's the real problem here.

Actually, racists are worse.
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:14 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


rochelle, his wife of 50+ years, 3 kids, is looking good in all this. she went to last night's game dressed in all-black and publicly denounced him. i'm on her side.

She didn't publicly denounce him. At no time when interviewed did she call him out specifically on it, but instead denounced racism. Hardly a scalding statement.

She's been married to him 50+ years and he has a spectacularly well publicized history of philandering and scumbagginess to go along with the recurring racism. In fact, one of the things the players are demanding of the NBA is why he hasn't been sanctioned for the crap he's pulled in the past. Before this story hit I knew Donald Sterling as "the worst owner in the history of the NBA".

Rochelle said none of the stuff that came out of Donald's mouth, but seriously..."on her side"? I think what side she's on is quite ambiguous right now, and I thought what she said was so politically empty that it didn't cast her in a good light at all. Maybe she's a victim in this, but she's certainly not newly vicitimized.
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:17 PM on April 28


Golden Eternity: "Actually, racists are worse."

Yeah, that was what Etrigan was saying.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:18 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Oops. Sorry, that's what I get for commenting without reading everything.
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:28 PM on April 28


No worries. That was a White Castle-size hamburger I put up there.
posted by Etrigan at 1:33 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


coach doc rivers declined the offer for a phone call from sterling.
posted by nadawi at 1:42 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


Corporations and organizations that are distancing themselves from Sterling listed here.

Sadly, that's what will do in Sterling. Not what Magic Johnson, Chris Paul, Doc Rivers, the player statements etc, etc, etc. have to say and how they are affected and how they are hurt and how they feel, but its all about what the big money says.

Sterling is toast. Oh well, whatever it takes.
posted by marsha56 at 2:20 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I haven't seen AEG weigh in yet.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:29 PM on April 28


This is pretty funny for me, having just told a coworker on Friday that I could never root for the Lakers because I grew up a Pistons fan, and I could never root for the Clippers because their owner is a racist piece of shit. He, a Latino, roots for the Clippers, but understood not liking them. Kinda curious about his reaction today.
posted by klangklangston at 2:40 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]


Heat show support for Clippers with silent protest
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Miami Heat showed solidarity with the Los Angeles Clippers over the Donald Sterling controversy before Monday night's playoff game against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Like the Clippers did on Sunday, the Heat ran out of the tunnel wearing their warmups, huddled at center court and tossed their white shooting T-shirts to the ground. They then went through their pregame routine with their red Heat warmup jerseys inside out, hiding the team's logo.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:22 PM on April 28


Everything you need to know about V. Stiviano from NYMag, including these gems:
In 2010, she legally changed her name because she said she had not been "fully accepted because of my race." (On the TMZ tapes, Stiviano identifies as black and Mexican. "You're supposed to be a delicate white or a delicate Latina girl," says the voice that is almost definitely Sterling. "And you're in love with me. And I'm black and Mexican. Whether you like it or not," she replies.)
And:
In the lawsuit filed last month, Rochelle Sterling, who married Donald in 1957, claims "the feminine wiles of Ms. Stiviano overpowered the iron will of” her husband, "who is well known as one of the most shrewd businessmen in the world."
Also this woman needs a #hashtag #intervention #STAT.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:02 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]


I just came back to thank Nadawi for pointing out Jay Smooth's take, which is (as others have said) completely excellent. I'm not even really a hip-hop fan, but I'm totally bookmarking him for general consumption.

If you didn't hit the link the first time around, here it is again for convenience.
posted by uberchet at 5:37 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Some useful analysis.
posted by Groundhog Week at 6:33 AM on April 29


On Deadspin, they've got audio from Bomani Jones appearing on the Dan Le Batard Show talking about the situation. Honestly, some of the stuff in the beginning is a bit tone deaf/sexist, but at about 3:45, Jones lays into the absurdity, like Jay Smooth does, of everyone reacting to words, rather than actions, drawing a direct line from housing discrimination like Sterling has perpetuated to the warzone neighborhoods of Chicago. It's pretty amazing, and worth a listen.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:04 AM on April 29 [10 favorites]


Just came here to post what Ghidorah already posted so let me get on the "give it a listen" bandwagon. The early minutes are schlock-radio cringeworthy, but the rest of it is devastating. Devastating.
posted by the painkiller at 8:26 AM on April 29


via Twitter: NBC NEWS can confirm that Donald Sterling has been suspended indefinitely and fined $5M, according to a senior NBA official.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:00 AM on April 29


A $5 million fine for Donald Sterling (est worth $1.9 billion) is equivalent of $116 fine to average American worker ($44,389), so basically he got a parking ticket.
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:13 AM on April 29


well, a parking ticket and told he's no longer allowed to drive his own car - he doesn't have to sell it, but he does have to give the keys to someone else. that's not nothing.
posted by nadawi at 11:15 AM on April 29


Also, he was suspended from doing....uh....what, exactly? Even if he was one of the owners who gets super-involved in the running of the team, it's the playoffs. Everything's locked in.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:16 AM on April 29


oh shit. banned for life.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:17 AM on April 29


Yah and a 2.5 million fine, not 5.
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:18 AM on April 29


can he still sign memorabilia with Pete Rose?
posted by bukvich at 11:18 AM on April 29


Also sorry, the tone of my comments about the fine seems like I'm complaining. I think the punishment just announced is exactly what I expected and hoped for.
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:19 AM on April 29


Excellent work by the Adam Silver and the rest of the NBA leadership. Swift, appropriate justice, and now we can all get back to focusing on the game and not the asshole owner. The real test will be if Sterling fades into the background or tries to become a martyr to people who believe that the First Amendment protects your right to own an NBA team while denying the humanity of a majority of the people who play for it.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:21 AM on April 29


Did not expect him to take questions...
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:21 AM on April 29


Okay, a lifetime ban is more on the "meaningful" side of things.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:21 AM on April 29


Recap for anyone not watching:
* Silver/NBA's investigation concludes it was Sterling talking
* $2.5 million fine and banned for life from Clippers/NBA
* Silver will urge the owners to force him to sell the team
* In answer to questions, he believes he has the full support of the owners and implied they wanted him out.
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:23 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Silver also said he will work with the Board of Governors to try to force a sale. Today is not the final word on disciplinary action.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:23 AM on April 29


yeah - an "indefinite ban" is more on the lifetime side of things, though it doesn't have to be. it's a move to encourage him to sell the team without demanding he sell the team - it's a strong punishment that still keeps silver's job safe with the other owners.

and it's binding - even an overly litigious man like sterling doesn't have a leg to stand on in trying to overturn it.

it'll be super interesting if his wife gets the team in the divorce, since immediate family members are allowed to take control of the team.
posted by nadawi at 11:24 AM on April 29


The $2.5 million fine followed by "now sell a franchise worth nine figures" is an interesting one-two punch.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:25 AM on April 29 [5 favorites]


This is more than I expected.
posted by rtha at 11:26 AM on April 29


The $2.5 million fine followed by "now sell a franchise worth nine figures" is an interesting one-two punch.

Well, Sterling owns the Clippers. The NBA can't confiscate his property. They can just suck all the joy out of owning it for him and force him to sell it.
posted by mightygodking at 11:27 AM on April 29 [2 favorites]


Most sources are saying 10 figures, just for the record.
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:27 AM on April 29


Kinda wish they would've also banned him for his afterlife as well, just in case.
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:28 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


NBA LiveStream. For those interested, as of this posting, they're live streaming the press conference on Donald Sterling.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:29 AM on April 29


Well, Sterling owns the Clippers. The NBA can't confiscate his property.

But they can enjoin him from ever using it. The way modern professional sports leagues dance around the idea of teams as private operations rather than subsidiaries is fascinating. (Not sarcasm; I would gladly take a class on property law if that was the subject)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:30 AM on April 29


I like this guy better than Stern, for whatever it's worth.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:31 AM on April 29


I like this guy better than Stern, for whatever it's worth.

Speaking of David Stern, he's been pretty quiet the last few days.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:37 AM on April 29


Probably hanging out with ex-Pope Benedict.
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:40 AM on April 29 [2 favorites]


Most sources are saying 10 figures, just for the record.

From the same sports news outlets that routinely breathlessly report $250M contracts that are so stuffed full of incentives and options that the true value is generally closer to $100M?

Forbes says $575 million, and that's not counting the motivated seller. The NBA won't want a bidding war on this, and it won't be hard for them to prevent one. I got a buck that says it won't top $700M.
posted by Etrigan at 11:43 AM on April 29


live local news coverage on ktla/Ch. 5, the Clippers' channel.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:43 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


From the same sports news outlets that routinely breathlessly report $250M contracts that are so stuffed full of incentives and options that the true value is generally closer to $100M?

Forbes says $575 million, and that's not counting the motivated seller. The NBA won't want a bidding war on this, and it won't be hard for them to prevent one. I got a buck that says it won't top $700M.


So, if Milwaukee is worth $550 million, then what’s everyone else worth? I spent the past 10 days asking various People Who Know Things that question. The consensus: Both the Lakers and Knicks would fetch Dodgers money (more than $2 billion, easy). It would take something in the $1.7 billion range just to grab Jerry Reinsdorf’s attention for a Chicago conversation, or for Donald Sterling to string you along for the Clippers before turning you down. Mark Cuban (Dallas), Micky Arison (Miami) and Wyc Grousbeck (Boston) aren’t listening unless the conversation starts at $1.3 billion. And Lacob and Harris would double their Warriors and Sixers investments from four years ago. Easily.

People are waaaaaaaay off on value of Clips franchise. All kinds of deep pockets circling this Sterling fiasco. Team will fetch $1.5b easy.

Several groups with desire to purchase Clippers are already stepping forward, with a bidding war expected to exceed $1 billion for Clippers.

I'm ready to admit 1.5bil is a high estimate, but I'll take your 700mil bet in a second.
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:46 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


There isn't going to be a bidding war because Silver has all but already said that Magic Johnson and Guggenheim Partners (who jointly own the Dodgers) are going to be given the green light to buy the Clippers and their bid will basically win. Sterling will get well over a billion dollars for the Clippers and that will be that. I'd be amazed if the Clippers aren't sold before the NBA Draft this year.
posted by mightygodking at 11:52 AM on April 29


I don't think the NBA wants that bidding war, though. Not right now. They'll sell to a group led by Magic Johnson for $700M, let him play with it for a few years until the Sterling stink is off, and then let a white guy come in around $1.25B and either cut Magic a check or keep him on as a junior partner and public face of the organization.

It's hard to bet against the NBA going for the money grab, but they wouldn't see enough of it to kill the PR angle completely. This is going to be the most scrutinized sale in American professional sports history.
posted by Etrigan at 11:53 AM on April 29


it was worth 7-8 hundred mil a week ago, now it's a pig in a poke, 1 hundred mil discount for bad behavior.

can the clips get their mojo back by 730 pacific time this evening, or will they get shredded again?

with that bald head, cheekbones and ears, doesn't adam silver look like an alien?
posted by bruce at 11:53 AM on April 29


The irony of Magic, of all people, owning the Clippers is pretty rich, but so is the irony of Magic - the very person Sterling was trying to disassociate himself from - paying Sterling a billion fucking dollars to go away.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:54 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]


To mitigate the "bidding war == lining Sterling's pockets" angle, how about the NBA garnishing a non-trivial percentage of the sale to be redistributed equally to the other teams? Kind of an "asshole tax."
posted by tonycpsu at 11:54 AM on April 29


I love Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
posted by lkc at 11:54 AM on April 29


I'd like to see them garnish the entire sale, as a reminder that Sterling was just renting their toy, but the other owners would never let that precedent take hold.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:57 AM on April 29


To mitigate the "bidding war == lining Sterling's pockets" angle, how about the NBA garnishing a non-trivial percentage of the sale to be redistributed equally to the other teams? Kind of an "asshole tax."

I can't bet against the NBA doing something tin-eared, but "Good news! We're giving ourselves hundreds of millions of dollars for enabling this asshole for 30 years!" might just be too far for them. Maybe if they peel off that money to a bunch of charities and let Sterling play it like it's his idea. There's certainly precedent for him thinking he's a good person for writing a check.
posted by Etrigan at 11:58 AM on April 29


The way modern professional sports leagues dance around the idea of teams as private operations rather than subsidiaries is fascinating.

Yeah, I'm be surprised if the other owners can literally force him to sell the team. I can see them having the power to remove the Clippers from their collective organization, at which point it would be worthless, but that could also turn into a game of chicken.
posted by smackfu at 12:01 PM on April 29


1. Rant like a misogynist, racist moron at your girlfriend.
2. Get Banned by the NBA
3. Profit
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:01 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


The irony of Magic, of all people, owning the Clippers is pretty rich, but so is the irony of Magic - the very person Sterling was trying to disassociate himself from - paying Sterling a billion fucking dollars to go away.

Talk about your "fuck-you money."

Clippers home page: WE ARE ONE

Dammit, this almost makes me want this to happen.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:04 PM on April 29


I can see them having the power to remove the Clippers from their collective organization, at which point it would be worthless, but that could also turn into a game of chicken.

The owners write their own rules (the NBA "constitution" isn't even a publicly available document), and there is no way in hell you could get any of those 30 assholes to agree to the other 29 having the ability to make his team worthless.
posted by Etrigan at 12:05 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Plus, from what I remember of the legal discussion around the baseball contraction thing, there would be a lot of legal issues with kicking a team out of the league.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:09 PM on April 29


all of us bruin/laker fans love kareem abdul-jabbar.

magic johnson to the clippers would be regarded as a defection. he might as well agree to run the russian olympic team.

A CALL TO ACTION: somebody out there who can, leak to us the nba constitution.
posted by bruce at 12:12 PM on April 29


magic johnson to the clippers would be regarded as a defection. he might as well agree to run the russian olympic team.

Really? Wow, the Lakers have come down in the world if they regard the Clippers as a rival. I would think they'd consider it more like if he agreed to run the Mexican Olympic team.
posted by Etrigan at 12:20 PM on April 29


i read a link earlier saying they need 75% of the owners to agree and they could force him to sell.
posted by nadawi at 12:20 PM on April 29


> To mitigate the "bidding war == lining Sterling's pockets" angle, how about the NBA garnishing a non-trivial percentage of the sale to be redistributed equally to the other teams? Kind of an "asshole tax."

They want to make Sterling suffer, but far more important is to get the team sold ASAP and to put this embarrassing incident behind them. I doubt they entertained, or are entertaining, any punitive measures which would be likely to invite litigation from Sterling, even if they'd end up prevailing on the merits, simply because it would inhibit a speedy sale.
posted by savetheclocktower at 12:23 PM on April 29


the clippers ARE a rival. two teams in one city, my native city no less, only one can survive. magic going to mexico would not be regarded as a defection, because mexico is not a rival at the present time. i bet he could get mexico into the olympic semifinals and make it a rival.
posted by bruce at 12:30 PM on April 29


Plus you have to temper the Clippers' loveable-fuckup image of yore with the fact that this year they're in the playoffs and the Lakers most emphatically are not.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:32 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


two teams in one city

Two teams in one arena!
posted by Room 641-A at 12:33 PM on April 29


(Hey, speaking of that: when two teams share a venue, like the Clippers/Lakers or Jets/Giants, does each franchise have its own "home" facilities there? Or does, like, Kobe have to share a locker with a Clipper?)
posted by uberchet at 1:05 PM on April 29


the meadowlands/metlife, the stadium for the jets and giants, has 4 locker rooms - 2 home and 2 away.
posted by nadawi at 1:10 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Nope, Clips and Lakers have their own locker rooms.
posted by klangklangston at 1:12 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


1. Rant like a misogynist, racist moron at your girlfriend.
2. Get Banned by the NBA
3. Profit


There are ~400 billionaires in the United States, there are ~120 major sports teams, this hits Sterling where it actually hurts, status.
posted by Cosine at 1:13 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Seriously if you haven't listened to the Bomani Jones rant Gidorah linked above, it is totally worth 10 minutes of your time.

While it's good that Silver and the NBA stepped up, this is easy. Actually doing something to address the segregation that Sterling and and his ilk, not to mention the media, politicians, and everyday citizens, help perpetuate in American cities. That would take actual courage.

There's already talk of a bidding war for the Clippers. The sale price will easily go north of one billion dollars. Sterling bought the team for $12 Million. His privilege and power is well intact.
posted by dry white toast at 1:22 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


(Thanks to nadawi and klangklangston for chiming in with answers to my side question.)
posted by uberchet at 1:24 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


I'm seeing the "this isn't much of a punishment" comments a lot around facebook/twitter as well. I'm confused by what the NBA could've done that would've made these people happy? Straight take his team away? Silver announcing that Billionaire owners are liabilities and all teams will be run Packer-style from now on? Seems like they did everything they could without making up new rules or opening themselves up to litigation from Sterling that would actually have a foundation.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:33 PM on April 29


(as an addendum to the side answer - when giants and jets play each other, the visitor locker rooms are used for extra storage/media stuff, and both teams use their own locker rooms, even though one team is designated as home and the other as away.)
posted by nadawi at 1:34 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


the meadowlands/metlife, the stadium for the jets and giants, has 4 locker rooms - 2 home and 2 away.

I have so many more questions: Why two away locker rooms? They don't ever play home games on the same day or even weekend, do they?

Is each away locker room designated as permanently away-against-Jets and away-against-Giants?

Is the extra one also used for storage/media stuff on game day?
posted by Etrigan at 1:40 PM on April 29


there is a designated locker room for each team's visiting opponents - it seems to be location based - the jets away locker room is on the other side of the giants home locker room, and the giants away is on the other side of the jets home - i'm betting it's to keep things moving smoothly.

since they use both visitor locker rooms for storage when they play each other, i'm betting the spare visitor's locker room is similarly used on regular game days.

and just looking at this year's schedule - yes they do both have home games during the same weekend sometimes.
posted by nadawi at 1:46 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


I didn't mean to dismiss the NBA and their punishment. They're doing as much as they can and good on them. I just meant it somehow doesn't feel like justice has been done upon Sterling.
posted by dry white toast at 1:49 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


I didn't mean to dismiss the NBA and their punishment. They're doing as much as they can and good on them. I just meant it somehow doesn't feel like justice has been done upon Sterling.

I agree, but what "justice" is there, really, for just being an old racist asshole? He didn't break any laws this time, and he's been to court for the times he did. This is about as good as it's going to get, karmically speaking -- he owns the worst team in the NBA for 30 years, and when they finally get good, he gets booted. He goes down in history as a shitty owner and a shitty human being.

Yeah, he makes a good chunk of change on the deal, but he would totally rather have the team (professional sports franchises are collector's items for billionaires -- the money they make is just icing) and not be held up as a person so horrible the NBA kicked him out (per Flunkie's link above, he's spent a lot of money over the years trying to look charitable).
posted by Etrigan at 2:00 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


and not be held up as a person so horrible the NBA kicked him out (per Flunkie's link above, he's spent a lot of money over the years trying to look charitable).

Good point, it's an amazingly special brand of ignominy to be the only Major Sports owner to get kicked out for something not illegal, given some of their actions.
posted by DynamiteToast at 2:07 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


What does it mean that Silver is going to try to get the NBA's board of governors to force the sale? I (think I) understand that the NBA's governing documents are not public, so a detailed answer isn't likely to be known, but surely stuff is known about general things like this, so what it might be like. For example, I'm imagining that perhaps incoming owners sign a document saying that if the board of governors wants them to sell, they have to sell to an approved buyer in such-and-such an amount of time, otherwise the board gains the right to negotiate a sale on their own?
posted by Flunkie at 3:10 PM on April 29


I agree, but what "justice" is there, really, for just being an old racist asshole?

A good deal, in my humble opinion. If you listen to the tape (or read it, or read summaries of it), you'll see that what was upsetting him was the possibility of losing face. Obviously his definition of 'losing face' is a pretty racist one.

But even in that context, he seems pretty (rightfully humiliated). The entire *world* knows who this man is, and it's in the context of him being a racist, but also that his 'girlfriend' (or whatever that relationship might be) would make this very very public.

Remember, this all started because he didn't want the publicity associated with the pics posted to his girlfriend's pinterest. Think about that for a bit. He was worried about his social standing and how it might be impacted by a couple of pictures in social media.

Now where is his social standing? Where is his reputation? How great is his (ongoing) humiliation?

I'm not sure what justice anyone here could have hoped for, but this outcome, to me, is pretty satisfying.
posted by el io at 3:57 PM on April 29


Doc Rivers, coach of Clippers, and widely respected throughout the league, is evidently saying he won't be back next year if Sterling is still the owner.

Meanwhile, Sterling evidently told Jim Gray before Silver's announcement that the team is not for sale, though he wasn't willing to say it on camera.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:00 PM on April 29


…and the Pistons need a new coach, right? Please please please please please…
posted by klangklangston at 4:05 PM on April 29


Selling under pressure in some industries might result in a lower purchase price, but that seems unlikely here. If anything, the potential goodwill towards a new owner, with a new start in the country's second-largest media market, could attract more buyers than ever and the price could skyrocket.

Something similar (also involving Magic Johnson!) happened in Los Angeles 2 years ago when MLB forced Frank McCourt to sell the Dodgers. At the time some said a forced sale might result in some lowball bidders (which it did) but the eventual purchase price shattered all US records.
posted by cell divide at 4:10 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


Also, evidently players were willing to boycott tonight's games depending on the outcome of Silver's decision. Not just the Clippers players, all of the players on all of the teams scheduled to play.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:12 PM on April 29 [4 favorites]


Also, someone upthread hope the NBA constitution would get leaked: the NBA released it, for all your perusal needs.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:49 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


NBA BANS STERLING FOR LIFE!!!!

Motherfucker can't even go to a game, anymore. You and I are more likely to be an owner now than this guy!

HAHAHAHA!

He was also fined 2.5 million dollars. But he is a billionaire. Even if he is BARELY a billionaire, 2.5 million is only 2.5% of his worth. More than likely, its worse when someone here gets a speeding ticket in California. But it is the maximum NBA fine, so there's that.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:39 PM on April 29


What does it mean that Silver is going to try to get the NBA's board of governors to force the sale?

SBNation in "How NBA owners can force Donald Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers" says the NBA owners, by three-fourths vote, can revoke ownership under certain circumstances.
posted by RichardP at 7:03 PM on April 29


So far, it's looking like it will be a unanimous vote to boot Sterling. The only person who even raised a hint of objection was Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and that was earlier in the week. His point is that this will set a precedent, which, well, why shouldn't it? If players can be fined for actions that make the league look bad, if they can be banned for breaking rules and causing disgrace to the league, why can't owners.

As it is, several teams have issued statements supporting Silver, and it sounds increasingly like the vote will be 29-0 in favor of stripping Sterling of ownership.

The thing is, you'd have to be insane to vote against it. If it became public knowledge that you voted to keep Sterling, a very large number of players would outright refuse to play for your team, and, in terms of the proposed boycott by other players on other teams, it's pretty clear that there would be a significant amount of influence by those players on others.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:18 PM on April 29


A co-worker and I were discussing this today and my boss sauntered by and opined that "they" were trying to take away the clippers so "they" could give it to Magic Johnson because "they" wanted him to own a team. Besides, she said, it was totally illegal for her to tape Sterling like that...and she walked out, all smug like.
I think she was being sympathetic towards Sterling? I guess today was as good a day as any to find out my boss might be a racist!
posted by Biblio at 7:20 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Earl Ofari Hutchinson: LA City Council and Mayor Garcetti Must End Donald Sterling Subsidy
posted by Room 641-A at 7:37 PM on April 29


SBNation in "How NBA owners can force Donald Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers" says the NBA owners, by three-fourths vote, can revoke ownership under certain circumstances.

Is it just me, or does "revoke ownership" sound way different from "force to sell"?
posted by Etrigan at 8:19 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Etrigan, from the terms of the NBA Constitution, it looks like if the ownership interest of an owner is terminated the NBA Commissioner is granted the power to exercise all the rights otherwise exercisable by the owner, including the right to transfer all or any portion of that interest. However, it does say that if a Commissioner elects to use his power to transfer an owner's interest in a team, i.e. sells the team, the proceeds have to given to the owner (deducting any outstanding liabilities).

So, if Sterling's ownership interest is terminated, the Commisioner can transfer the team without consulting Sterling. If Sterling thinks the voting will not go his his way, he might choose to sell the team before the vote in order to choose who ends up with the team and to have some say in the price of the sale. That's an awful lot like "forced to sell".
posted by RichardP at 8:51 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Also, though I can't remember where I saw this, evidently the league could actually vote to dissolve the franchise, but that's essentially the full-nuclear option. It's utterly unlikely to happen, but it's definitely something they can threaten to get him to sell.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:15 PM on April 29


you'll see that what was upsetting him was the possibility of losing face. Obviously his definition of 'losing face' is a pretty racist one.

Yeah... he sounds genuinely aggrieved in the audio. I'm curious whether his anxiety (about people "calling him") was all in his own deranged mind, or had anyone actually called him to complain about his girlfriend's instagram pics?

I finally got around to listening to Ghidorah's link to Bomani Jones's comments and WHOA. That was amazing.

Tangentially--Jones talked about Shelley Sterling's scouting the housing developments and posing as someone working for the government. Was that something that was covered in the media anywhere? I found her post-tapes-going-public comments completely lacking in credibility. She and her family are "devastated" by Sterling's racist comments? Uh huh. She was married to him for 50 years and was never devastated by this side of him before?

I have to say--I don't know what all issues of her own V. Stiviano might have--hooking up with this man doesn't speak well for her judgment--but she's pretty damn impressive on the tapes. She coddles him, yes, but she's also calm and firm and forthright, calls him on his bullshit at every step and doesn't back down an inch. I like her. (Although obviously the appropriate thing to do would have been to tell him he's an asshole re minorities AND in his manipulative treatment of her, and DTMFA.)
posted by torticat at 1:08 AM on April 30


The Bomani Jones audio linked above refers to a 2006 piece by Jones worth reading.

I also really liked what Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had to say. It's wrong that it took this audio to get Sterling booted. There were already much, much more egregious reasons to get rid of Sterling. But because we didn't act on those much worse prior acts, we are now using a piece of evidence that was gotten in a manner that we should all be disturbed by.

Of course like everyone I'm very pleased by Silver's actions today. After watching Silver's emphatic denunciation of Sterling and realizing that he, personally, has done all he could in the matter, I feel like I probably should back down, at least somewhat, from this prior statement. I believe that Silver was moved by the pain caused to all African Americans by Sterling's dehumanizing words.

(am I the only one who occasionally gets tripped up by the similarity between Sterling's and Silver's last names?)
posted by marsha56 at 4:49 AM on April 30


(am I the only one who occasionally gets tripped up by the similarity between Sterling's and Silver's last names?)

You are not.
posted by Etrigan at 5:05 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


marsha56: "(am I the only one who occasionally gets tripped up by the similarity between Sterling's and Silver's last names?)"

Nope. I keep having to pause two beats and think about it, and had feared I was losing my mind.
posted by notsnot at 5:56 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


I keep wanting to say Nate Silver.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:22 AM on April 30 [3 favorites]


, we are now using a piece of evidence that was gotten in a manner that we should all be disturbed by.

while she might be lying, the only story that's even been offered for how the tape came to be is that she recorded him with his full knowledge and that he heard the tape at least one other time. she's not exactly the nsa.
posted by nadawi at 6:33 AM on April 30 [3 favorites]


It should come as a surprise to no one that the concern trolls are coming out of the woodwork to complain about how Sterling is being deprived of (a) his God-given right to own a basketball team, and (b) his privacy.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:26 AM on April 30


Don't forget his First Amendment right to be able to say whatever enters his head without anybody thinking less of him for it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:43 AM on April 30


Holy shit that Bomani Jones audio clip is just marvelous, I mean on top of how full of insight it is, its just really really impressive when a person speaks extemporaneously and with such speed about a complex issue, without pausing to catch a breath or loosing their train of thought. Wow.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:04 AM on April 30


Sadly, I feel like Jones has been waiting to give that speech for years.

Not that, like, he thought, "Yay! I get to decry racism! I'm so happy!" but just because it's a speech that has to be given but sadly, didn't have a good "peg" for ESPN to hang it on.
posted by Etrigan at 8:15 AM on April 30


Dave Zirin weighs in:

The Sterling Ban: 10 Takeaways From Adam Silver’s and Kevin Johnson’s Press Conferences

What Helped Bring Donald Sterling Down? A Threatened Strike Against Racism:

But in a league where Jerry Krause would have the gall to tell Michael Jordan that "players don't win championships franchises win championships," in a league where Donald Sterling, as he said on tape, really does believe that owners deserve the credit for the financial successes in the league, in a league where during the 2011 lockout Dwyane Wade had to tell David Stern not to wag a finger in his face and that he was "not a child," the players just got, for the first time in a long time, a taste of their own collective power. That is something not easily washed away. If Donald Sterling isn't truly out of the league by the start of the 2014-2015 season, perhaps we will see whether a players strike against racism was truly just a threat.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:54 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]


When Zirin makes the point that Audio/Video is king, it reminded me of the 2012 elections. Sure Democrats could make arguments that Mitt Romney was evil because he was involved in Bain Capital, which bought out companies and gutted them and blah blah blah you've already lost most voters. But when he got caught on video with his 47% comments everyone immediately knew it would do damage because it was 1) Easily shareable and 2) Succinct in it's "reason it's bad"-ness.
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:20 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


Not only that, but there's something alluring about "this is what they say when they think nobody's listening." It's theatrical, hubristic, and laden with dramatic irony.

Issues like housing discrimination are often covered at a high level, and in a detached we-don't-know-what-really-happened tone (which is fair), so a legal settlement has little chance of spurring the same level of public outcry as a recording that anyone can easily understand.
posted by savetheclocktower at 11:31 AM on April 30


"The team is not for sale. I am not selling the team."
posted by Flunkie at 11:32 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


Some men just want to watch the NBA burn.
posted by Etrigan at 11:41 AM on April 30


Flunkie: ""The team is not for sale. I am not selling the team.""

I was just reading a discussion by some tax people and lawyers where several people made the point that if Sterling sells the Clippers now, he will be on the hook for capital gains taxes on the team (to the tune of $200 million out of maybe $700 million in profit); if he drops dead tomorrow and his heirs sell the team, they get the stepped up basis* for the team. His estate has to pay estate taxes either way, and his heirs would have to pay capital gains when they sold the team, but Sterling + estate + heirs pay a LOT more in taxes if Sterling sells the Clippers now than if his heirs sell the Clippers after he dies, due to the stepped-up basis. (People were doing various math on various scenarios, but anyway he saves money by dying owning the team.) So Sterling has a very strong incentive to hold on to the team long enough to drop dead.

*Stepped up basis, for the non-taxy: Capital gains taxes you on the gain you make between when you buy something and when you sell something, so if you bought a basketball team for $2 million and sold it for $10 million, you'd owe taxes on the $8 million in capital gains when you sold them. The purchase price is the "basis." However, when you inherit property, such as a house or a basketball team, the basis "steps up" and you get to "reset" the basis at the fair market value at the time you inherit. So if your father bought a team for $2 million, died when its fair market value was $7 million, and then you sold it for $10 million, the stepped-up basis would be $7 million and you'd only pay taxes on the $3 million of capital gains it realized under YOUR ownership. The other $5 million in capital gains is never taxed.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:57 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


Of course, if the other owners decide to force the issue, then he doesn't get to hold on to the team and he can't negotiate the sale on his own terms; if the league wanted to get really ballsy they could react by not just selling the team but selling it for a nominal (or “nominal”) value. The price Sterling paid plus inflation, for instance.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:02 PM on April 30


Is that actually true? I didn't think the league could just commandeer the team like that. My understanding is that the clause that allows owners to force a change in ownership on a 3/4 vote only lists things like mismanaging the team financially, gambling, etc. and that, while an argument can certainly be made that his mere presence jeopardizes the financial stability of the team and the league at large, Sterling could still make a legal case that the league has no right to force him to sell the team under the terms of the league constitution.

The more I read about this, the more it looks like it's going to be a game of chicken where he at least tries to extract a pound of flesh from the other owners before he gives up his fight.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:12 PM on April 30


If he refuses to sell the team, then this is gonna wind up in court and will be incredibly ugly, but at least then we get to see Sterling throw a tantrum and have to be dragged from the grocery store, sobbing, by the embarrassed parent that is the NBA.
posted by savetheclocktower at 2:05 PM on April 30


One of the differences between Stern and Silver, evidently, is Silver's legal background, and a willingness to go to court, which Stern avoided like the plague. As far as I've read, if the league votes to strip him of ownership, there isn't any legal ground for Sterling to stand on, given that the NBA is a private organization, and it's constitution is the binding agreement in the situation.

It also says something about how delusional Sterling must be. After all that's happened, after Rivers saying he won't return (the man is a top tier coach who has earned league-wide respect from players), afterplayers like Lebron James saying the league has no place for Sterling, after players were planning to walk off the court in the playoffs to get rid of him (which is something that could definitely affect their future earnings because racist assholes exist), he still thinks that he should own the team. While it's not impossible to imagine someone signing with the clippers in free agency, it's highly unlikely, and even less likely for anyone currently there to stay once their contract is over as long as Sterling is there.

Then again, it's not like he was ever concerned about fielding a competitive team if it cost money.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:28 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]


re: Concern Trolls

Yeah, since Silver's announcement, there's been a deluge of "WHAT ABOUT THE RIGHTS OF MEN NOT TO BE RECORDED BY WOMEN HURF DURF" style status updates and shared articles on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I'm not saying its just men's rights people who are going off on this, but I am saying that everyone so far that's complained in my anecdotal circle of friends has a penis.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:54 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


ursus, thanks for posting those links. Those are definitely worth reading. I had no idea about Kevin Johnson's slum loridishness. It's worth pointing out that Chris Paul, the point guard, is president of the players union, and he asked Johnson to speak on the union's behalf because he himself is a player for the clippers, and also in the middle of a playoff run. Paul speaking as head of the union could have been tricky from a conflict of interest standpoint, and definitely would have (more of) an effect on his ability to prepare for the games.

Also worth noting, the union fired their representative last year after years of nepotism and incompetence, and have not as yet found a replacement.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:58 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]


Rochelle said none of the stuff that came out of Donald's mouth, but seriously..."on her side"? I think what side she's on is quite ambiguous right now, and I thought what she said was so politically empty that it didn't cast her in a good light at all. Maybe she's a victim in this, but she's certainly not newly vicitimized.

LAT: Donald Sterling's wife hasn't escaped controversy either
posted by Room 641-A at 12:20 PM on May 1


Wonder if Jeremy Clarkson will suffer a similar fate? He's constantly trying to walk a line catering to racists/sexists/assholes. That there were multiple takes of this incident, in two of which he says the n-word, shows he was trying to figure out just how far he could push it. Now he's clearly stumbled onto the wrong side of that line he's running for cover. How anyone can take his apology/explanation seriously is beyond me. That hasn't stopped Jalopnik from calling it "reasonable."
posted by the christopher hundreds at 9:16 AM on May 2


"WHAT ABOUT THE RIGHTS OF MEN NOT TO BE RECORDED BY WOMEN HURF DURF".

I encountered this point when discussing this case with a friend of mine. Then I pointed out that the person who he was talking to had the title of "Archivist". I didn't need to go further, but I pointed out it was literally her job to record him. And he literally paid her to record the shit he said.

There are plenty of other instances of racists saying racist shit when they were unaware they were being recorded - this is not one of those instances.

This incident points out that rich racists should hire more archivists, so their words will be part of (racist) history.
posted by el io at 2:20 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


Newt Gingrich Calls For Public Ownership Of Professional Sports Teams

Yes, that Newt Gingrich.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:32 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]


You know, he's batshit crazy, and I wouldn't vote for him for dogcatcher, but I have to hand it to Newt - he's not 100% predictable, like most of the right wing. He regularly generates wacky positions on stuff, so at least he generates some interest.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:17 PM on May 2


Donald Sterling’s "slippery slope": The limits of our new anti-racist consensus
posted by tonycpsu at 8:53 AM on May 3


Stiviano is out in public today denying Sterling is a racist and defending him. I guess the money faucet was about to get turned off?
posted by Justinian at 2:51 PM on May 3


I guess the money faucet was about to get turned off?

Sterling: “I wish I had just paid her off.”


There's a small part of me that want the Clippers to win it all just so that, after 30 years, Donald Sterling could be banned from having anything to do with it. Then I remember that David Stern blocked the Chris Paul deal and I wonder what could have been.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:00 PM on May 3


> I have to hand it to Newt - he's not 100% predictable, like most of the right wing. He regularly generates wacky positions on stuff, so at least he generates some interest.

I'm pretty sure he's doing this purely for mercenary reasons.

The contrarian position is always good for attention. It gets eyes on him, gives him a purpose for an argument, and buys him a seat on more talk shows. He is unlikely to personally give a damn either way, and can be paid enough to defend the other side too.
posted by at by at 7:28 AM on May 4


I guess the money faucet was about to get turned off?

Sterling: “I wish I had just paid her off.”


Is the overly dynamic layout keeping me from reading more, or is that actually the entire article? One sentence from an "exclusive discussion" with no details of this purported payoff, even who may have initiated it?
posted by Etrigan at 7:56 AM on May 4


SNL's cold open last night covered this topic.
posted by jessamyn at 8:13 AM on May 4


Hah. Sterling's wife likely owns half the team since California is a communal property state. This could get even more interesting.
posted by Justinian at 2:36 PM on May 4


Oh god, it's the McCourt saga all over again.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:43 PM on May 4


at by: "I'm pretty sure he's doing this purely for mercenary reasons.

The contrarian position is always good for attention.
"

Sure, wouldn't surprise me that is at least part of it. Still makes him more interesting than say, Ted Cruz, where I know everything he'll say before he says it.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:48 PM on May 4


Baron Davis talks about playing for the clippers. This is the full version of the excerpt linked upthread.
posted by rdr at 8:12 PM on May 4


For anyone continuing to follow this shitheel's sad saga, Sterling went on AC360 tonight, called out host Anderson Cooper as the real racist, and said that Magic Johnson "should be ashamed of himself". So there's that.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:34 PM on May 12


I knew billions of dollars didn't buy you class, but I thought eventually it had to buy you some "shut the fuck up"; what's the next step on his public rehabilitation tour: visiting all the NBA owners and insulting their mothers?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:31 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


I knew billions of dollars didn't buy you class, but I thought eventually it had to buy you some "shut the fuck up"; what's the next step on his public rehabilitation tour: visiting all the NBA owners and insulting their mothers?

Everyone's the hero of his own story. He genuinely believes that he's the aggrieved party here, and that if people would just listen to him with an open mind, they'd see that he's right, just like he's always been. You don't get to be a billionaire, after all, without being the smartest person you know.
posted by Etrigan at 6:36 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


Man, some primetime trolling going on in those comments. Especially the guy who only knows poor african americans. Takes me back to when I used to troll.
posted by klangklangston at 9:13 AM on May 13


"Magic Johnson should be ashamed of himself"

You buried the lede: ashamed of himself for having contracted "the AIDS" (as Sterling called HIV infection).

And for being sexually promiscuous, as if Sterling wasn't being outed by his mistress.

And for, like other black people, not investing in the African American community with his wealth, as if Magic Johnson hadn't set the world standard for successful African Americans doing just that for his fucking generation.

And for never having done anything significant in life, despite the fact that Magic lapped Sterling's level of lifetime accomplishment sometime during the middle of his second grade year.

He even accuses Anderson Cooper of having a "plantation mentality." And he proudly points out how Jews will loan "minorities" money to help them out.

You keep thinking it has to be a Saturday Night Live sketch.
posted by spitbull at 5:12 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


"And for being sexually promiscuous, as if Sterling wasn't being outed by his mistress. "

Ahem, his "archivist."

(Which is why it's still funny to see people trying to deflect by doing the, "What was she recording him for? She entrapped him!" because he was paying her to record his bullshit, like a yutz.)
posted by klangklangston at 5:21 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


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