Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Props to the NBA

Sterling was one of the worst owners in all sports
In a surprising but welcome move, the NBA commissioner banned Los Angeles Clippers' owner Donald Sterling from his own team and the NBA for life.

Of course, Sterling is 80, so his lifetime ban won't be that long.

Still, this is amazing.

Plus, the commissioner will try to wrest control of the team from Sterling, who made incredibly racist comments that were recorded surreptitiously by his mistress.

The wealthy, including Sterling who is reportedly worth $1.9 billion, have long been exempt from the laws and social norms that most everyone else must abide by.

As long as they can buy off anyone, the filthy rich can be racist, sexist, immoral and get away with almost any crime.

Sterling certainly bought off his foes over the years.

Now we know why he paid his players so little for decades and why the Clippers were one of the worst teams in the league. He didn't like his players because of the color of their skin.

More than 76 percent of the players in the NBA are African-American.

That stat, more than any other, prompted the harsh penalty against Sterling, who was also fined $2.5 million.

Which is another reason why this is watershed moment in sports.

The commissioner, Adam Silver, stood by the players, the workers. Yes, these workers are paid millions to play a child's game, but they make millions more for their owners, TV/cable networks and countless others.

The players were respected in a huge way.

This goes against almost all precepts of the modern workplace where the stockholder reigns supreme and jobs are shipped overseas.

And, isn't it wonderfully ironic that descendants of slaves are now considered too valuable to disrespect.

Far more than any other American sport, the NBA is a global brand. It showcases the best talent from around the world and basketball is second only to soccer in worldwide appeal.

This Sterling ban sends a strong message to NBA fans around the world that the birthplace of basketball does not tolerate racism. This shows leadership.


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