Adam Silver must deliver stiff penalty to Clippers’ Sterling

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is expected to announce a decision about a penalty for Donald Sterling in the  next few days.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is expected to announce a decision about a penalty for Donald Sterling in the next few days.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

This week Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy created a stir when his idea of black people was captured on video. “Are they better off as slaves…or are they better off living off government subsidy?,” he asked about blacks. On Saturday, the world was reminded that racist attitudes come in different ways and from various levels. Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling found himself at the center of a controversy once a tape, allegedly of him making racist comments to his then-girlfriend, surfaced.

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (r) sitting court side at a game with then-girlfriend V. Stiviano (l).

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (r) sitting court side at a game with then-girlfriend V. Stiviano (l).

The almost ten-minute tape recording was released on TMZ.com and captures Sterling urging then-girlfriend V. Stiviano to keep her associations with minorities private. The conversation, prompted by an Instagram photo of Stiviano and Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, has yet to be authenticated by the NBA. In a press conference on Saturday evening, NBA commissioner Adam Silver was emotionless  in his evaluation of the Sterling situation. In a somber tone, Silver stated:

“All members of the NBA family should be afforded due process…which is why I’m not yet prepared to discuss any potential sanctions.”

A small sample of the recording of the conversation between Sterling and Stiviano.

A small sample of the recording of the conversation between Sterling and Stiviano.

While Silver may be reticent to discuss potential sanctions against Sterling, it doesn’t change the fact that serious sanctions are in order once the recording is authenticated. Silver said: “We hope to have this [investigation] wrapped up in the next few days.” However, there is no real precedent for an issue of this manner. Typical punishments that commissioners mete out to executives like fines and suspensions will not have a significant impact in the long run for a multi-millionaire owner like Sterling.

The only suitable punishment in the eyes of many would be his removal as owner. Whether that happens or not, Silver needs to demonstrate that he is willing to lead the owners to come to the decision that illustrates the outrage the NBA shared about Sterling’s comments.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.