Former NBA Commissioner David Stern spoke on a panel at Columbia Business School on Friday, and the 74-year-old voiced his opinion on ethics and cheating in corporate settings, specifically as those issues relate to sports.
One of the key topics Stern touched on was Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest, which paralleled a similar national anthem protest by former NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf in 1996 that earned him a one-game suspension and forced him to forfeit $32,000 in pay.
According to Oliver Staley of Quartz, Stern explained why his decision to suspended Abdul-Rauf was justified:
Stern suspended NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf for a similar protest in 1996, but said Kaepernick’s case was different because he had the permission of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and because president Obama said he had a constitutional right to speak out.
"Wrong!" Stern exclaimed. "He has the rights his union collectively bargained for him, but I guess Obama didn’t take a class in labor law."
On a different note, Stern sided with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell regarding Tom Brady's Deflategate punishment and the ethics surrounding it.
"Who doesn’t think those footballs weren’t underinflated?” he asked, according to Quartz.
Stern also clashed with fellow panelist and United States Soccer President Sunil Gulati regarding his six-month suspension of Hope Solo after she called the Swedish national team cowards following a loss at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
"I thought Hope Solo was right," Stern said, per Quartz. "They were a bunch of cowards."