Donald Sterling is a bad guy. I despise everything he stands for, and I have long before his words were recorded. His bigotry and business dealings have been well documented, so none of this is new. And it would be great for basketball, if he was no longer a part of the NBA. But the NBA shouldn’t do anything about this.
Like most everyone else, I like to believe that there’s no room in society for this kind of antiquated thinking in 2014. But this kind of thinking is way more prevalent than we are willing to admit. I think allowing Sterling to keep the team, would do more to keep the lines of communication open than forcing him to sell and making him a martyr for likeminded individuals.
This is embarrassing to admit, but I’m one of those people who read (and sometimes engage) with commenters on Facebook and throughout social media. So as much as we like to think we’ve come so far in the last 60 years, anytime race is in the news, the internet trolls make it evident; we have a long way to go. Ignorance is an epidemic and it won’t be beat by sweeping the ugly under the rug.
He’s an ass, and he made that very clear, but this is not how you drive out the darkness. I think it would be fantastic if the fans, sponsors and players want to force him out in very organic way. If players refuse to play for him, I applaud them. If the fans want to stay at home, that’s great. If the people apply so much pressure that Sterling is driven to sell, that’s a huge win. That’s a statement that can’t be ignored. But the league shouldn’t drive the bus. Forcing the 80 year old billionaire to sell his team for close to a billion dollars won’t change a thing, it would only help the NBA’s image for a single news cycle.
I’m not worried about Donald Sterling. We see him for what he is. I’m worried about the owners, executive, coaches, fans, agents and players that are just as ignorant but remain faceless.