Donald Sterling Banned for Life, Pace Reacts


Photo courtsey of

Stiviano (left) and Sterling (right) at a Los Angeles Clippers game earlier this season

James Miranda, Sports Editor

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference in downtown Manhattan on Tues. April 29, resulting in a lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his racist rant within an audiotape released by TMZ Sat. April 26.

Sterling’s girlfriend V. Stiviano was allegedly the individual who released the recording, after she secretly taped the conversation with him. The recorded argument between the two was in reference to Stiviano’s posts on Instagram. She posted pictures with NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, as well as with Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.

“People feel certain things. Hispanics feel certain things towards blacks. Blacks feel certain things towards other groups,” said Sterling, in the recording when asked about his problem with minorities. “It’s like talking to an enemy.”

Sterling made many stereotypical comments in regard to the different cultures among different races. The keynote line came in the form of “don’t bring black people to my games.”

“He disgusted me,” freshman nursing major Brittany Scott said. “I don’t understand how he felt that’s ok to speak to [Stiviano] like that for the simple fact that she is half black and Mexican.”

However, some people were not surprised.

“I wasn’t really that surprised. He’s had a long history of thoughts and actions like that since he became owner of the Clippers,” freshman communications major Gabe Rivera said. “It’s good to see that it finally came out in the open so now the NBA and the public at large can really know this and do something about it.”

Sterling has run into the law before. In 2009, he was sued, taken to court, and settled for $2.725 million over a dispute of him not renting apartments to minorities, including African Americans and Hispanics.

The merry-go-round thrills of the NBA playoffs were put to an abrupt halt with the news. The Clippers’ players decided to wear their warm-up apparel inside out before their game four loss in the Western Conference first round on April 26.

Other teams supported this movement by following in the Clippers’ footsteps. Throughout last week, multiple sponsors either voided or suspended their partnerships with the Clippers franchise.

“It is [the players’] first amendment right to free speech and to express their displeasure in his actions,” Dr. Richard Mace of Pace’s English department said. “The difficulty is that Sterling has a right himself to say what he thinks and feels, but, just like any free speech, there are always repercussions.”

That is indeed the problem. Sterling didn’t do anything legally wrong in this instance. He expressed free speech and his own opinion. Perhaps his rank as a public figure makes it more notorious, but there is a discrepancy between free speech and consequence-free speech which Sterling did not consider.

“I feel a lifetime ban is a bit severe considering what was said and actual crimes that are committed by NBA players and officials that don’t receive such an action,” Mace said. “But, only if there’s something written in the bylaws of the agreement between the owners and the commissioner; if his actions are in violation of that, which we don’t know, that would then mitigate the punishment he received.”

Commissioner Silver has urged that the Clippers be sold upon a three-quarter vote among the owners, not inclusive of Sterling. That is approximately 22 or 23 votes.

On Thurs. May 1, Sterling and his lawyers announced they are suing the NBA and Silver for both the suspension and the fine.

One thing is known, this one’s going to overtime.