This is not a good day to a member of the Los Angeles Clippers organization. For the past several days, the #BoycottClippers movement has gone viral, spewing venom against their owner, Donald Sterling for making racially charged comments to his girlfriend regarding her association with African-American individuals, singling out NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, who actually had considered Sterling a friend.
That's a bad thing to do when, according to the Washington Post's analysis, 76 percent of the players are African-American.
Intolerance Enacts Zero Tolerance:
“The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful. That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage. Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse multi-cultural and multi-ethnic league.”
“Accordingly, effective immediately, I am banning Mr. (Donald) Sterling for life, from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, he may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team.”
New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver , Press Conference, 4/29/14
Bravo, Adam Silver!
In addition to the lifetime ban, Silver said he would urge the Board of Governors to force the sale of the team and fined Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum Silver can levy under the NBA constitution and bylaws.
The money will be donated to anti-discrimination and tolerance organizations that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the Players Association.
Selling the Clippers would bring Sterling, a cool billion dollars. All of which, I might add, he should donate to charity.
A note for the commenters I've seen who have defended his speech under the First Amendment freedom of speech rights: Sterling (and you) need a lesson on the difference between hate speech and First Amendment rights.
And for anyone who believes that a flamboyant, outspoken, racist public figure and owner of an NBA team can say vitriolic, incendiary things....think again.
Donald Sterling's ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers has come to an end.
That's the exact reason why no one should #BoycottClippers any more. The primary cancer has been removed from the scene, and the prognosis appears excellent that this disease (rampant racism) is in permanent remission at the Staples Center.
I am declaring it safe to go back to Los Angeles Clippers games.
Here's two reasons why:
1) Glenn 'Doc' Rivers I remember Doc back when he was a member of the Proviso East Panthers, and was fortunate enough to interview him when he was coaching the Boston Celtics. A gentleman through and through, he's turned the other cheek, it seems, nearly as often as baseball's Jackie Robinson.
Doc has also been the victim of racism.
Years ago, his home was burned to the ground. As USA Today reported, when Rivers was a TNT analyst in 1997, his family's home in Shavano Park near San Antonio burned to the ground and suspicion immediately arose that this was a racially-charged event.
Now, this? Rivers' son, Jeremiah, was quick to counter with his view of why you shouldn't #BoycottClippers:
People want to #BoycottClippers because of one man? "My house has been burned to the ground, animals tortured and burned as well. Along with anything we ever loved, and held treasured, because of the color of my dad's skin. We lost everything and had to start over. Did we hate the collective of people, culture, and race (whose) skin was responsible for our hardship? No."
Jeremiah Rivers, Doc Rivers' son, reported by USA Today
2) The Players Once the laughingstocks of the Western Conference, the Clippers became respectable and playoff worthy with the acquisitions of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. They stand on the brink of becoming Western Conference champions....probably within the next couple of years. They could do it with Rivers, who won a championship with the Boston Celtics.
"We want them (fans) to cheer for their players, and their team, because it's still their players and their team and it will be their players and their team."
Doc Rivers, reported by USA Today
Winning Game 5 tonight would be the best revenge.