The Donald Sterling Problem

I’m sure many of you have heard the racist remarks allegedly made by Clippers owner, Donald Sterling. The remarks have left everyone scratching their heads what to do. The Clippers players cannot boycott their team and damage their championship dreams, but they did wear inside-out shirts during their practice before Game 4 against the Warriors. The shirts, with the Clippers logo hidden, were meant to symbolize how everyone is the same on the inside. The protest made news in the NBA, but the Clippers still lost the game.

The NBA also has not made a decision on what to do about Sterling. The only action they have taken is asking Sterling not to go to Game 4 in Golden State. Michael Jordan, the Bobcats owner, said that he was outraged, and encouraged Adam Silver, the NBA’s commissioner, to take action quickly.  Other owners have spoken up, including Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé and Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen. President Obama, LeBron James, and Magic Johnson have also spoken up.

While the NBA decides what to do, many sponsors have cut ties with the Clippers organizationState Farm, Kia Motors America, Red Bull and Sprint have all said they will suspend their sponsorships with the Clippers.

While everyone on Earth debates what to do about Sterling, my simple solution is just to bar him from the Clippers organization just like MLB did twice with George Steinbrenner. Steinbrenner was banned for two years once, and later banned for life, although both suspensions were reduced. I believe that the NBA should suspend Sterling for four years. In that time, Sterling should be able to sell the team for about $575 million, $563 million more than he paid for the team. That would turn a profit for Sterling and the league.

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