In an unfortunate about face, Donald Sterling has decided that it is in the best interest of American freedoms to fight for his right to keep the Los Angeles Clippers. Yes, Donald Sterling has fashioned himself an American hero and it is somehow one of the least insulting things about a letter that he put out in order to explain why he won’t do humanity a favor and slink off to some tropical island with his billions of dollars.
Let’s start with the letter in question:
New statement from Donald Sterling. Seriously ups the language railing against Adam Silver, NBA’s “reign of terror” pic.twitter.com/DXZmHkHtUn
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 10, 2014
I… I don’t really know where to start, so let’s start at the top and work our way down.
1. “I was brought up in America and educated to believe that every citizen has a right to privacy and right to freedom of speech. As a lawyer and citizen, I am shocked (but not surprised) that the NBA wants to take away those fundamental rights.”
Donald Sterling does have the right to free speech which is why he wasn’t tarred and feathered by Barack Obama for his racist comments which started this whole sale of the Clippers. The NBA’s governing body is not the United States government. The NBA Constitution is not the United States Constitution. Adam Silver is not George Washington. You get my point. The NBA is not “out to take those rights” away from Donald. He can still put out idiotic statements like this and not land in jail. Yet somehow, a real estate billionaire has about a firm a grasp on what the First Amendment actually says as a random Youtube commentator. AGAIN, THIS MAN IS A LAWYER.
2. “I have apologized for my mistakes. My apology is sincere.”
Let’s see. Here’s how Sterling apologized for his recorded remarks to Anderson Cooper:
“When I listen to that tape, I don’t even know how I can say words like that. … I don’t know why the girl had me say those things,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview set to air on Monday.
“You’re saying you were set up?” Cooper asked.
“Well yes, I was baited,” Sterling said. “I mean, that’s not the way I talk. I don’t talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things. I don’t talk about people.”
“I’m not a racist,” Sterling told Cooper. “I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I’m here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I’ve hurt.”
“She made me do it” is not an apology, nor is trying to make a long, convoluted racist diatribe against Magic Johnson the verbal equivalent of forgetting to zip up your pants sincere.
3. “The NBA has a history of discriminatory practices which is supported by numerous lawsuits filed by NBA employees claiming gender discrimination.”
Rodger Sherman of SB Nation looked into this bombshell (the only real substantive claim in this whole rag) and found nearly nothing. A New Jersey woman did file a lawsuit against the NBA seeking $3 million in damages for gender discrimination but it appears that the suit went nowhere. There was also the time where the Knicks were hit with an $11.6 million sexual harassment lawsuit. The NBA publicly voiced their displeasure at the Knicks in that case. Other than those two cases, Sterling doesn’t have much evidence of “a history of discriminatory practices.” If that constitutes a history of discriminatory practices for the NBA than what Sterling did with his own real estate properties qualifies as an era of racism unto itself.
4. “The NBA is a band of hypocrites and bullies. They will not stop until someone stands up. They have taken the liberty to desecrate my privacy rights and my right to own property.”
Yes, Donald Sterling is the one brave man who will stand up the tyranny of the NBA. Nevermind that he’s trying to conflate the NBA Constitution and the US Constitution. The NBA Constitution does give the Commissioner broad powers to act in these cases, including forcing the sale of a team.
While no article in the NBA’s constitution addresses the Sterling incident specifically – racially insensitive comments he made in a recorded conversation — Article 13(d) is a catch-all violation.
That article states an owner’s may be terminated if the person fails or refuses “to fulfill its contractual obligations to the Association, its Members, Players, or any other third party in such a way as to affect the Association or its Members adversely.”
Article 24 in the NBA’s constitution also lists the authorities and duties of the commissioner. Silver is charged with “protecting the integrity of the game of professional basketball and preserving public confidence in the League,” the article says.
Donald Sterling is the guy in your Intro to Poli Sci 101 class who says his right to privacy is being invaded when his dorm room is checked because it reeks of marijuana.
5. “We have to fight for the rights of all Americans. We have to fight these despicable monsters. THIS IS THE REASON I WILL NOT SELL MY TEAM.”
Yes, Donald Sterling is surely the Martin Luther King Jr. of our times, fighting for the rights of all Americans. Donald Sterling looks into the mirror and sees this:
What a shit stain.