Banned for Life

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

April 29, 2014 1:33:01 PM PDT
Banned for life. That was the hammer that went boom today by the NBA on Donald Sterling, the owner of the L.A. Clippers basketball team. His offensive and racist comments on tape to his girlfriend whom he had lavished with expensive cars and money caused a firestorm in a matter of days. His players, in the middle of the playoffs, were in near revolt.

The Commissioner, taking charge, ordering a lifetime ban for Sterling, a $2.5 million fine, and urging the other NBA owners to force Sterling to sell his interest in the team.

He can't attend a game, go to his team's practices, or attend any NBA meeting. Never before has the league cracked down on an owner as hard as the NBA did on Sterling today. "We Are One" was the banner in black and white on the Clippers website today.

NBA Commish. Adam Silver clearly came out strongly to support the players of the NBA, the majority of whom are African American; black players making a ton of money to be sure, but making even more for their predominately white bosses. And for one of those bosses to tell his (mixed-race) girlfriend and he didn't want black people hanging around the game, well, it was the height of racism and hypocrisy. And the NBA today made sure it would not be tolerated.

There are those who will say that Mr. Sterling has a first amendment right to say whatever he wants. And that's true, to the limits of the law. But a sport that preaches multi-racial diversity and acceptance also has the right to say no to racism and prejudice. And the NBA today exercised that right. And no fair or justice-minded person can argue with that. Or that least, they shouldn't.

Strong action, and tonight at 11 we'll have reaction. Rob Powers leads our coverage.

Also, Meteorologist Lee Goldberg is tracking heavy rains that will dump 2 to 4 inches across the area. We'll also have any breaking news of the night. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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