Donald Sterling: Racist?

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In a league consisting of 574 players, thirty teams, twenty-five all-stars, and one NBA (National Basketball Association) champion, one owner stands out. He was known for his racist comments, which got him removed from the whole organization. This man’s name is Donald Sterling. He was not only stripped of his team but was fined 2.5 million dollars and was banned from anything having to do with the NBA.

Donald Sterling was born in the Windy City back in 1933. His original name was Donald Tokowitz and then later legally changed his last name to Sterling. At the age of two, Mr. Sterling and his family moved to Los Angeles. In 1955, he married Rochelle (Shelly) whom he had three children with: Scott, Chris, and Joanna. In 1961, he became a divorce and injury attorney, but excelled in real estate, especially when he bought his 26-unit apartment in Beverly Hills. He has then co-owned the Los Angeles Clippers with his wife Shelly for 33 years.

On April 29, 2014, Mr. Sterling was banned from the NBA for life by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. He was reported to have been recorded in the privacy of his own home making racist comments. The audio footage was later revealed to have been sent in by Mr. Sterling’s ex-wife, Shelly.

There has been much controversy through the past couple of weeks. Many say he has a right of freedom of speech, especially in the privacy of his own home. Others, on the contrary, see Mr. Sterling as a downright racist.

On May 14, 2014, Sterling made an appearance on the TV show,”Anderson Cooper 360.” He apologized to “all who he may have hurt.” while explaining that he was baited by his girlfriend, V Stiviano. This interview has many people in question whether he’s actually a racist, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and former President of the NAACP’s chapter, Leon Jenkins. Mark Cuban states that his comments were uncalled for and abhorrent, but he’s not in favor of booting the current LA Clipper owner. Jenkins, on the other hand,  Jenkins said they were “very, very ugly statements,” but he was also reluctant to condemn Sterling, adding, “I’m not really sure we have all the facts.” Clearly the interview changed some heads, and nobody knows what to think at this point.

On May 21st, 2014, Donald Sterling was reported to have been telling V. Stiviano to lie about the situation. “Sterling asked Stiviano to tell the NBA that she lied in her previous meeting with the league,” the Times reported.

And lastly, Adam Silver and the NBA has charged Donald Sterling with damaging the league with his racist comments and set a hearing for June 3, after which other team owners will vote to decide the future of his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.

It seems like everyone’s opinions are different regarding this situation. Earlier, when the video was first released, it was unanimously decided that he would be booted, but now people don’t know what to think or who to believe. Obviously, there is a lot surrounding this situation, and it doesn’t look too good for the 81 year old.

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