After this weekend’s audio leak that Donald Sterling doesn’t really want black people at his games, many wonder what can be done about the L.A. Clippers’ owner.

Sacramento mayor and search committee chairman of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Kevin Johnson’s response is simple: “[We] want the most severe sanctions that are allowable under the NBA guidelines,” said Johnson yesterday on CBS This Morning.

Whatever that may be.

Sports attorney Jeffrey Kessler told the Wall Street Journal that the league has the power to force Sterling to sell.

“Requiring the sale of a team would be the most severe sanction,” says Kessler. “But I believe the NBA would take the position that the commissioner has the necessary authority to take action.”

However sports law expert Michael McCann writes in the Sports Illustrated that the NBA bylaws – which are confidential – weren’t drafted to cover a situation like this one. Covered circumstances involve trouble with a team’s finances.

“This is a defining moment in the history of the NBA,” says Johnson.

The NBA under the helm of former commission David Stern knew about Sterling’s hateful beliefs and discriminatory practices, but it had hoped Sterling would die before he did anything else controversial. Now new commission Adam Silver is stuck with Sterling and coming up with an immediate solution. Currently, the Clippers are losing sponsors, including Carmax and State Farm, who will only continue the ad campaign featuring Chris Paul.

No punishment would actually harm Sterling. Millions of dollars in fines wouldn’t be financially detrimental to someone worth a few billion. Even if he’s forced to sell, he’d probably earn around $600M on a team he bought for a little less than $13M . And what would a suspension really do?

But wouldn’t it be rather fitting for a black man whom Sterling would love to ban from his arena to purchase the Clippers? According to Yahoo! Sports, Magic Johnson is “absolutely interested ” in buying the team.


Tags: , ,
Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter