Monday, May 5, 2014

Sterling and Punishment

    It's been a week now since Donald Sterling, the "owner" of the L.A. Clippers was exposed by his ex-girlfriend as a racist by making comments that were later leaked to the media. Since the release of the comments made by the infamous owner, the fate of the L.A. Clippers has been left uncertain. Donald Sterling has been ordered to make several apologies, fined millions of dollars and is now banned from the NBA. Now Donald Sterling is fighting to keep control of the team which he has been ordered to sell. So now comes the question, "Why do bother and where's the punishment?"
    Do not misunderstand my statement, I strongly believe his attitude is totally unprofessional, intolerable and shouldn't be allowed within the NBA. But if we can be real for one moment let's really look at this situation and realize something, there is no punishing Donald Sterling. Let's look at everything he's been asked to do and decide whether or not that this is a punishment. The first one is he's been ordered to apologize to the players, everyone who works for him and a public apology to the media. Now this one to me is just a waste of time and air because we can all agree on one simple fact, the apology was most likely bull.
    Donald Sterling is a billionaire that owns property in Los Angeles, arguably one of the most expensive locations in the world and has more money than most Americans will ever see. So do you really think he gives a damn what any of us think? I'll defend him when I say that if I had his money, I sure as hell wouldn't have cared what other people thought of me. I highly doubt his apology was sincere, in fact he was probably only sorry that he got caught. So why bother forcing someone to apologize when everyone knows he doesn't mean it?
    The next punishment he was given is being fined 2.5 million dollars which to him might as well be 2 dollars and 50 cents. It's couch change to that man so really what's the point in making him pay money that he can afford to lose? Now they're trying to make him sell the team as part of banning him from the NBA but Donald Sterling has made it clear that he has no intention to sell the team. So the punishment is to force him to sell a team that is worth over half a billion dollars? Anyone besides me see the problem with this?
    If you really wanted to hurt the man then just take the Clippers from him and make him take a half a billion dollar loss because that's the only way he would be hurting. But it won't happen because banning him is really all the NBA can do and that will have to do but Sterling's resistance is showing signs that this is a punishment to him. Whether it's right or not, I'll leave to the people to decide but this is my opinion. As I look back on this I have to ask the question, "Was the banishment action given to Donald Sterling justified?" It seems that being unprofessional in sports now is very common these days.
    Sport industries are now starting to crackdown on unprofessional conduct from players, coaches and now owners for good reasons. Bill Belichick was revealed as a cheater and fined millions of dollars, the New Orleans Saints were caught with their "Bounty" program which led to coach Sean Payton's suspension for a whole season. Last year, the Miami Dolphins suffered from controversy when player, Richie Incognito made racial slurs against another player and was suspended indefinitely. Back in the day, people of success and sport authorities were seen as role models for people to aspire to. If this is how today's role models conduct themselves, I rather my child not watch sports ever.

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