Donald Sterling still owns his NBA team, but he has been stripped of his NBA citizenship for life. He can’t go to games; can’t even enter his own office.
I assume he can watch the games on TV, but I’m betting he’ll have to stay at least 20 feet from the screen.
But – was it fair that he was done in by an angry girlfriend?
“Should someone lose their team for remarks shared in private? Is this a slippery slope?” asked one reporter at Tuesday’s press conference.
“Whether or not these remarks were initially shared in private, they are now public and they represent his views,” replied NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
But the world is full of bigots. What made this go nuclear?
Well, let’s read between the lines of Sacramento Mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson. “The players said to me, ‘Mayor, we need immediate action. We want a seat at the table. And thirdly, there must be a chance in ownership.'”
The players have a strong union. So strong that their demands were met within 48 hours.
And the other factor? The sponsors who ran for the exits because the last thing they need is a civil rights group calling a boycott.
Of course Donald Sterling will not suffer. Forcing him to sell the team means forcing him to accept a check for at least half a billion dollars.
But he got the message, which makes me think about the executives who do things that are a lot worse – like moving jobs offshore or tanking an entire economy? Can you imagine if we had the kind of evidence that would motivate customers and employees to rise up against those guys, too? I say we assign each one of them an angry girlfriend.