Who the players are in the LA Clippers Fiasco
By Peggy Hunt
I met Donald Sterling and Ms. “V” (not sure what she is calling herself these days) at a fundraiser for Congressman Curran Price.
Here’s how my conversation went with Mr. Sterling and Ms. “V”:
“How are you doing?”
He replied, “Great. That is a pretty necklace.”
I replied, “You have great taste. I would like to speak with you about advertising the LA Clippers.”
“Ok, speak with my assistant.”
My conversation with Ms. “V”:
“We already advertise in the Los Angeles Times.”
“I want to help you reach more African-Americans and minorities.”
“Uhhh… We only want to reach the people who read the LA Times.”
“Oh! Excuse me!”
In this current age, it’s hard to imagine a more flamboyant racist slumlord than Donald Sterling, the Los Angeles Clippers owner who was caught disparaging “black people” on tape. He has nothing but disdain for African-Americans, telling his girlfriend—herself Black and Mexican—that it “bothers” him “a lot” that she wants to “broadcast” she’s “associating with Black people” and that she shouldn’t “bring them to [his] games,” despite the fact his games are played by Black people.
It started with Al Sharpton asking Clippers’ advertisers to withdraw ad dollars. Later, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from associating with the Clippers and even attending all games for life. He fined Sterling the maximum allowed, $2.5 million. Finally, Silver said he will personally lobby the league’s Board of Governors to force the sale of the team that Sterling has owned since 1981. Sterling originally bought the team for about $12.5 million and stands to make hundreds of millions off any sale.
Three-quarters of NBA owners are needed to force, under NBA governance rules, 80-year-old Sterling to sell the franchise he largely mismanaged into irrelevance through the years. This rightfully pushes responsibility for what’s next on fellow owners, should they decide to back Sterling, will have to answer to outraged players, coaches, executives, fans and sponsors.