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April 29, 2014 - Mike Mathison
It is reported that the NBA players would have boycotted Tuesday evening's playoff games if the ruling from new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's comments had not been tough enough.
A lifetime ban. That works.
I am glad the players were ready to take a walk.
According to a story by the Associated Press, "players' union Vice President Roger Mason Jr. says he spoke to representatives from every playoff team about the possibility of boycotting games in solidarity against any ruling that didn't include a mandate for Sterling to sell the Clippers. Mason said the players are very happy with Silver's decision to ban Sterling for life while urging the NBA's board of governors to compel Sterling to sell the Clippers."
As Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said, this is still a slippery slope.
If the punishment is a lifetime ban for an owner for making racist remarks, what is the next level of punishment when it happens again? Cuz, you know someone else is going to say something stupid (and, please stop with the comfort of his own house remarks. They were taped and made public. His thoughts were made public, regardless of the location. He could have not said it at all).
What happens if a star, a league official is taped saying something racist or homophobic or anti-anything? Life? If it is a player, what will the Players Association do? Fight on both ends?
Everyone has a right to say whatever they want. They also have the right for the consequences for those words. You can talk freedom of speech all you want, people still have accountability for what they say.
Of course, questions also need to be asked of the local NAACP, which was 2+ weeks away from, giving Sterling a second lifetime achievement award.
It is good to see that Adam Silver is not David Stern.
Of course, this is not over. I would expect Sterling to take this case to court.
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