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Donald Sterling banned for life, Adam Silver to urge NBA owners to force sale


This is not NFL related, but it's far and away the biggest news of the day. In case you missed it, Los Angeles Clippers owner, and all around awful racist Donald Sterling has been banned for life, and fined $2.5 million (the most allowed under the NBA Constitution, per Silver) for his recent vile comments. More importantly than the immediate punishment is that Silver announced he would move forward in urging the owners to force a sale of the Clippers. As I understand it, such a sale would require a 3/4 vote, but Silver was very up front in stating he did not expect to have a problem forcing the sale. It's safe to say Silver dropped the hammer.

This doesn't immediately impact the NFL, other than to get mock drafts off the radar for a day, but it's still an interesting development in commissioner action. Pro Football Talk made a good point (shocking, I know) about how this puts other commissioners and owners on notice about potential implications of voicing vile viewpoints.

One topic that has been brought up by many, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, is the notion of the slippery slope when punishing viewpoints. Cuban has since said he backs Silver's actions 100 percent, but it's a topic that many have discussed. While there is something to be said for sliding down the slippery slope, I also view that as something that can be a weak defense to taking definitive action.

In Sterling's case, we're talking about a guy who should have been removed from power long ago. He has settled housing discrimination cases, he has had to deal with an employment discrimination case, and he's generally said some incredibly awful things. It just so happened that this time he was caught on tape in a way that pissed people off. Housing discrimination and being a generally awful person apparently require more of a smoking gun for the NBA to actually do anything. Something had to happen, and thankfully Sterling will finally be gone.