Terminating Donald Sterling's ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers appears imminent based on Thursday's NBA Advisory Committee meeting.
Dan Woike of The Orange County Register posted an official statement from the NBA that revealed a consensus to move forward with the process as swiftly as possible:
Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report noted that Jeanie Buss replaced her late father Jerry Buss on the 10-member committee:
Sterling made racist remarks to his girlfriend in a private setting that were recorded and recently released, leading to NBA commissioner Adam Silver assessing a lifetime ban to Sterling, along with a maximum fine of $2.5 million.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today noted that Thursday's actions by the executive committee weren't much more than a minor update on the process. However, it reflected that the sentiments of universal resentment toward Sterling's actions haven't changed:
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix believes that if Sterling is forced to surrender the Clippers, he could take the matter to court, where the NBA may have a difficult time defeating him:
While it is possible that Sterling could have his way in terms of litigation, there is no excuse for his repugnant conduct and intolerance, or appreciation for any diversity. He is rightly getting slammed in the court of public opinion.
Silver's hardline stance sets a strong precedent, but it is a bit of a slippery slope to exact such harsh discipline for something that happened out of the public eye—even though Sterling has a history of racist conduct that suggests he deserves the punishment.
Silver himself had strong words to describe the nature of Sterling's comments, and left no doubt that it was indeed the voice of the Clippers owner heard on the recording, via The Boston Globe: “The hateful opinions...are those of Mr. Sterling.’’
This is an era of unprecedented access to information, and thus a lack of privacy has resulted. Instead of evolving, becoming more culturally conscious or even kind and wary of what he says to anyone regardless of the circumstances, Sterling chose to stay set in his ways and is now paying the price.
The NBA executive committee appears determined to sever any of Sterling's remaining ties to the Association, and it should happen sooner than later based on Thursday's release.
Sterling is the type of personality that must be expunged from the NBA's cultural memory. The unanimous decision is indicative of a forward-looking paradigm that accepts the ever-globalizing game of professional basketball—and the diverse array of players who come with it—without Sterling playing any part.
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