NBA Commissioner Adam Silver dropped the hammer on Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling Tuesday, banning him for life and fining him $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under the league constitution.
Kelley: Sports Illustrated writer Michael Rosenberg summarized it well: “The punishment may or may not fit the crime, but it absolutely fits the man.”
I woke up early Saturday morning and like others in my generation, immediately checked my Twitter feed. Tweet after tweet read of Sterling and his alleged comments. So, I had to listen myself. I sat on my couch, squirming uncomfortably as the conversation progressed. This is the 21st century – we have our first African American president, and there are still people, especially in a position as powerful as billionaire owner, who still hold 18th century plantation-esque racist views.
Then I watched proudly as Commissioner Silver – brilliant he is – brought the hammer down on this racist piece of scum. Player reactions were intriguing. Many, including LeBron and Chris Paul among others, spoke with empowering expressions on their faces of their contentment with the punishment. You could feel their sigh of relief.
Sterling has deep-rooted views, ones that will unfortunately never change. But the NBA and the world itself are better with him shoved into irrelevance. He may not go quietly as court battles emerge, but he will go away. And that is reason to smile.
Kowaleski: Is it though? I mean, yeah, great, the NBA banned him for life. Great, they fined him the maximum. Great, he’s probably going to sell the Clippers.
What took them so long?
Mike, the fact that Sterling is a scumbag of discriminatory nature isn’t news. We knew that back in 2003 and 2006, when he was sued for housing discrimination. He’s had a long, quotable string of racist utterances that went overlooked. Why are we celebrating what should have been a foregone conclusion years ago?
I’m going to paraphrase a lot of the great Bomani Jones here. But what we’ve learned from the past 11 years is that the NBA has a line. You cross that line by shouting crudely into a phone conversation that gets picked up by TMZ. In other words, it has to be a huge public no-brainer. What would’ve taken real courage, would’ve made a real statement, would’ve been to can him back in ’03 or ’06. Those situations cost people homes and lives, and that makes this situation, with its high melodrama and mistresses, relatively comical.
So for the NBA and ESPN to work themselves into a holy fury over these relatively inconsequential comments and expect a pat on the back is funny. This is a laughably easy target to look at and say, “I stand against racism.” The real statement would’ve been to stand against it years ago.
Heisman winner Jameis Winston stole $32 worth of crab legs and crawfish from a supermarket.
Kelley: I believe no news is good news for athletes in the offseason. Train away, relax, have fun, but keep yourself out of the headlines. Always sounds simpler than it actually is, especially for young athletes who adjust to living a private life in the public eye.
Jameis Winston ate what is now an infamous seafood dinner. His crab legs and crawfish ready, he picked up his bag and walked out of the store. Jameis Shameis.
Regardless of the severity of this incident, it does not bode well for Winston. Bad headlines have seemed to follow him in his promising but young career. There was the sexual assault case, in which he was cleared in December. In November 2012, 13 windows at an apartment complex were damaged and Winston and his roommate were accused of shooting BB guns at them. Then a very strange case in which he was believed to have repeatedly filled up a water cup with soda at a Burger King, ignoring the employee’s objections.
None of the above have resulted in legal trouble. But his reputation is slipping. A long road to maturity lies ahead for Famous Jameis.
Kowaleski: You want to know what irony is? Irony is Winston getting off scott-free from a sexual assault case and getting picked up for stealing crab legs.
I don’t like to decry student-athletes for their behavior, or analyze their psychology like some pundits—“Judge not, that ye be not judged” Matthew 7:1-3 (yeah I quoted scripture, what do you want to do about it?)—but this screams arrogance. This screams “I know I’m above the law, and I’m going to prove it.”
And I’m not buying the Shabazz Napier “I didn’t have enough to eat argument.” First, be original. That’s been played out already, and the NCAA already approved unlimited meals for you. Second, if you’re going to steal to eat, you should go for something a little more pitiful in case you get caught. Loaves of bread and apples, you know? Do it up Aladdin style. You don’t need a gourmet seafood meal. Third, just $32 worth? Go big or go home, man. I’m talking all-you-can-eat crab for months. Fourth…you’re probably a rapist. So I have no sympathy for you.
Am I on a high horse this week? I feel like I’m on a high horse. Mike’d Up getting FIERY in its second-to-last week.