As the Donald Sterling story takes off in different directions, as public outrage gets even louder, there's something to take away from this.
The owner of the Los Angeles Clippers allegedly expressed racism and hatred on a recorded conversation with his girlfriend.
According to TMZ Sports, Sterling is quoted saying:
"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?"
-- "You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games."
--"I'm just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don't have to have yourself with, walking with black people."
-- "...Don't put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games."
Mind you, his girlfriend is African-American and Hispanic.
There are so many issues with this man, not just his comments, that should have raised red flags for decades. Former Clipper Elgin Baylor sued Sterling for racial discrimination. The federal government sued Sterling twice for allegedly refusing to rent apartments to Latinos and African-Americans. The list goes on.
Why is this just now becoming of national concern? Tell me he hasn't been given the "Well, he's old, let him say what he wants to say" pass for all of these years. This is the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. This is the owner of one of the most-talked about teams in the country. Did we really need an audio recording to get this man out of the NBA, the business world? We shouldn't.
For years Sterling has allegedly held the power, this controversy has shown the true voices are being heard.
Michael Jordan, the face of the NBA, released a statement on Sunday:
"I look at this from two perspectives – as a current owner and a former player. As an owner, I'm obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I'm confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly. As a former player, I'm completely outraged. "
Michael Jordan. One of the most private men we've ever idolized, has spoken out. This man avoids the media as if it were Isaiah Thomas. He comes out and makes his opinions known? People need to listen.
Magic Johnson has made his disgust public. Chris Paul has voiced his concerns.
But not enough is being done at this point. Statements being released don't show the seriousness of this situation. Sterling is not the only one who has made inappropriate comments, he just got caught.
This goes bigger than Sterling. This goes bigger than the NBA. This is an example. How the NBA handles this will set a precedent for racial remarks in all leagues.
This isn't Riley Cooper saying a racial slur while intoxicated (although his teammates put him through hell for it). Sterling is a man with power and influence. Both of those need to be taken away.
Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner, needs to act swiftly and harshly. Make it known there is no room for racial discrimination, comments, or any off-handed stupid remarks behind closed doors in any part of this country.
If there are no repercussions for his actions, there are no repercussions for anyone's comments. This cycle will then continue.
The entire league is waiting and watching what Silver and the NBA does with Sterling. If it's not enough, I wouldn't be surprised to see each player on the Los Angeles Clippers leave in the off-season.
Wouldn't that be great. Wouldn't that send the message?
Sterling doesn't need to be slapped on the wrist, he needs to be hit in his wallet, and his pride...if he has any left.