The former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned indefinitely from attending any future Clippers games. This decision was made after Sterling reportedly told his girlfriend that it was everyone’s best interest for her to not ever fraternize with any black people or players. It was okay for her admire their talents and athletic prowess as long as she did not publicly intermingle with them. How ironic is it that Mr. Sterling browbeat his girlfriend for being excited about meeting one of the sports all time greatest players, Magic Johnson and posting his likeness on Instagram, when he is the owner of a team full of black players? Was Sterling merely exploiting the physical talent of his former athletes and not genuinely invested in their overall wellness? One could safely assume both to be true given his former position as owner and his most recent comments.
Many people are arguing that banning Sterling from his own team is uncouth. After all, he did state those racist comments in the privacy of his own home and away from any public forums. However, I think many of those same people would be up in arms if a school principal had been recorded making racial epithets. Surely, no one would condone that type of behavior even if it were to occur away from school grounds. When you are in a powerful position in which you have the ability to influence large bodies of people, your thoughts and your words become your brand whether or not you would like for them to do so.
Any plans that Mr. Sterling had considered implementing with his winning team have now been foiled as the team will be moving on without him. Mayor of Sacramento, former all star, and current chairman of the National Basketball Association Kevin Johnson stated that the decision had been made to terminate Sterling from his position because “when a hint of cancer is shown, you have to cut it out immediately.” Obviously, Sterling was that element in which many deemed as both unnecessary and unhealthy.
Now as the Los Angeles Clippers take on the Golden Gate Warriors tonight, Mr. Sterling will be watching the game like most people from around the world, at home. How ironic is that? If I were Magic Johnson I would buy floor seats just for the hell out with a shirt that reads, “How you like me now? #winning.”