Sterling price could cost us all free speech
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, worth an estimated $1.9 billion, received a lifetime ban from the NBA and a fine of $2.5 million for remarks made during an obviously baited conversation with his girlfriend regarding African Americans. The danger is a precedent that could cost far more to free speech.
I understand this punishment. What troubles me is that a person’s thoughts spoken privately could cost them so much in a country that touts freedoms of speech and expression.
The girlfriend, V. Stiviano leaked the tape to TMZ, a recording that, under California law, was illegal to take given Sterling had no idea it was happening at the time.
Even if baited, there’s a lot we can determine by the things Sterling said in the recording. He has issues with people of color. He doesn’t like to have his girlfriend showing up with minorities, taking pictures and posting them over social media.
We can also determine from the punishment how much private conversations can cost you.
Never mind the illegally obtained recording, what if an owner is against gay marriage and that is made apparent in the same manner as Sterling’s racial opinions?
What if an owner were to make degrading comments about women? What if an owner said the same thing about white people, Hispanics or Asians? Would he receive this penalty? Do these instances deserve the same punishment?
Going forward it will be interesting to see how the association deals with similar situations. This can’t be the end, even if other owners would wish it so.
Detroit News columnist Terry Foster thinks other owners might be nervous.
“…some owners…want this thing to go away as quickly as possible. They definitely don’t want things coming out of their closet.”
Apparently the Bentleys, the Ferrari and house Sterling bought Stiviano wasn’t enough to motivate her to keep their private conversations private. A word to the rest of you owners: Keep your mouth shut or you too could receive this type of punishment.
There’s more to this story that should be examined, including the lateness of the intense indignation that’s got the nation in a racial tizzy.
Former LA Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar commented on this “outrage” in a recent opinion piece in Time Magazine.
“If we’re all going to be outraged, let’s be outraged that we weren’t more outraged when his racism was first evident,” he wrote. “Let’s be outraged that private conversations between people in an intimate relationship are recorded and publicly played.”
“Let’s be outraged that whoever did the betraying will probably get a book deal…”
As Jabbar also points out, public records provide Sterling had been preventing African Americans and Hispanics from getting public housing.
It’s unbelievable to think, before this story broke, Sterling was going to be recognized by the Los Angeles NAACP chapter with its first annual lifetime achievement award in celebration of their 100th anniversary.
What’s funny is despite the NAACP being able to ascertain Sterling’s sentiments regarding race, they were going to award him anyway. According to the Clipper’s website, the NAACP has recognized Sterling with awards in the past. (Keep in mind, off-color Sterling remarks have surfaced before.)
UCLA, Sterling’s alma mater, is also rejecting a $3 million gift intended for kidney research because of the recent “divisive and hurtful comments” the owner made, according to a university spokesperson in a recent press release.
Sterling is not a newly discovered racist – his history of idiotic comments is well documented. His remarks should come as no surprise, but the severity of his punishment for ignorant and stupid statements should put fear in all.
Again, the motivation is understood. But only now, as Sterling’s girlfriend releases this illegally taped conversation does his flagrant ignorance become an issue for the NAACP, NBA, UCLA and the country.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More The Scribe News Articles
Recent The Scribe News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR THE SCRIBE NEWS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST THE SCRIBE NEWS
- New parking design, permit price increase expected
- Support centers available for academic assistance
- UCCS cuts student employee hours due to Affordable Care Act
- Top 10 coping skills for stressed freshmen
- Club Sports Association looks to distance from SGA
- Sterling price could cost us all free speech
- Engineering students cap off their education with expo
RECENT THE SCRIBE CLASSIFIEDS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- As Insurers End Coverage for Compounded Drugs, Patients...
- 4 Tips to Start Your Day a Little Earlier
- Join the Force to Fight Lung Cancer in Women
- If You Want to Help Avoid Back Problems, Stop Slouching
- Common-Sense Strategies From a Natural Marketing Guru
- 10 Steps to Help Older Adults Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls
- Stay Cool for Next to Nothing: Power Down the AC on...
- Family-Friendly Programming Storms The Weather Channel
- Carrageenan: Sustainability From Farm to Table
- Every Room Tells a Story if You Set the Stage
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- WHEN GEORGIA SMILED: THE ROBIN MCGRAW REVELATION FOUNDATION TEAMS WITH PIVOT AND STUDENTS OF THE WORLD TO LAUNCH THE #iASPIRE GRANT CONTEST
- Latino Groups Launch National Campaign to Deliver Record Latino Turnout for 2014 Midterm Elections
- The Power of Peer Support: Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In" Hits Campuses
- Cengage Learning and Flashnotes.com Form Strategic Partnership
- PAOLO NUTINI CELEBRATES U.S. RELEASE OF “CAUSTIC LOVE”