Roundup of newspaper editorials on the banning of Donald Sterling from the NBA

April 30, 2014 

Here are excerpts from editorials on Donald Sterling’s being banned for life from the NBA:

The Kansas City Star: With swift and appropriate punishment, the National Basketball Association has demonstrated excellent leadership in dealing with racist comments from one of its rich and powerful owners.

Props to commissioner Adam Silver, who in a news conference Tuesday crisply outlined the actions against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Silver said the league would ban him for life from attending games and practices, fine him $2.5 million and try to force him to sell the team.

Under the NBA constitution, other NBA team owners can make that sale happen. They should do so as soon as possible, even though Sterling likely would make hundreds of millions of dollars in profit. ... Silver and the league said “good riddance” to Sterling. It was a long time in coming, given his past legal settlements in cases involving civil rights violations and housing discrimination. But it was a much-needed move.

The Miami Herald: As Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling argued with his girlfriend, he used offensive words in describing minorities – words that landed like a punch to the gut of every black NBA player. He sounded like Archie Bunker, talking as if black men were nothing more than slaves to be admired from afar but not to be mingled with publicly.

Sterling sounded like Big Daddy on a plantation of black workers who need him to survive. “I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them?”

It culminated Tuesday when newbie NBA Commissioner Adam Silver dropped a Kryptonite hammer on Sterling – a lifetime ban from the NBA, barring him from all contact with the Clippers. He topped it off with a $2.5 million fine.

South Floridians can be proud of Miami Heat players who, led by LeBron James, denounced Sterling and visibly supported the Clippers. Commend the team for recognizing a pivotal, stand-up-and-be-counted moment on an issue that goes beyond the basketball court.

San Jose Mercury News: The world now knows what the NBA has to have known for 30 years: Donald Sterling is a racist. One way or another, he had to go. NBA Commissioner Alex Silver understood that and took the proper course of action Tuesday.

This was a rare, courageous stand by a commissioner in professional sports history and re-establishes the NBA as the most progressive sports league in the world. The commissioner’s act is even more impressive considering that he has only been on the job for three months.

But sports fans also need to remember that the NBA let its Sterling problem fester for decades.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:Some may say that a lifetime ban is excessive because opinions, not actions, are being punished. They are wrong. There is no room for someone with this kind of bigoted attitude toward one’s employees – in the NBA or in any modern workplace.

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