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Donald Sterling's real life 'Scandal' is just beginning

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Almost all but the most unenlightened agree Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s comments, along with a lifetime of oppressive behavior, is deplorable.  

But despicable dialogue made to his girlfriend are not enough to legally make him sell his basketball team.

The last time I checked, the United States Constitution gives us all certain inalienable rights, one of which is to make incredibly ignorant, even hurtful statements. That is why Klu Klux Klan rallies are still part of today’s America.  Photo: forbes.com

It is also why the potential fight between the NBA’s lawyers and the slick attorneys Sterling hires, will last for months, if not years. And frankly, it should.  

Sterling is a Neanderthal.  An incredibly wealthy man who believes minorities are a necessity for financial gain, and sexual perversions, but has no intentions of advancing their causes or protecting their basic rights.  

Still, all he has to do is ride out the current turbulence until all the freedom fighters and justice seekers get bored.

Think about it, African-Americans still patronize Denny’s after years of shady tactics.  They still frequent certain high-end retailers known for the extra negative attention paid to minority shoppers.  And in my view, they will continue to watch, coach and play for the Los Angeles Clippers, regardless of who owns them.    

If Sterling decides to drag this out through our legal system—and he should—the narrative will change.  It always does. Especially since he has enough money to pay the best real-life Olivia Pope in the country.

Once the waters calm a bit, affluent senior citizens will wonder aloud why a mistress like V. Stiviano is free to break California’s law against recording someone without his knowledge. They will again raise the question of why there is a double-standard with regard to bigoted speech.

Eventually, NBA analyst Charles Barkley or some other high-profile African-American will say something mean about European-Americans, kick-starting a right-wing campaign to have him or her fired.    

You can almost feel the pendulum swing in the other direction, can’t you?

Like most scandals, this one followed a familiar pattern. First, we had the egregious act, followed by the nation’s outcry.  Then, the process was vetted by the powers that be and ultimately, a punishment was meted out. Can’t you hear the silent majority wondering why a fine and suspension isn’t enough?  

In fact, within his own NBA peer group, it is reasonable to suspect Sterling is not the only one to have ever uttered certain atrocities during a private conversation.  

Nevertheless, if reports of a player walkout are accurate, the NBA and new Commissioner Adam Silver made the only decision they could.  However, a severe penalty doesn’t guarantee swift adjudication, and Sterling is well within his right to battle for his most prized possession.    

The NBA laid down the gauntlet, and now we wait for Sterling’s response. Will he slink away peacefully? Or, will he use all his power and influence to keep his squad?  

This could get ugly, and if it does, here is hoping all this outrage is still boiling over months or even years from now.   

However, if recent history is any indication of our collective attention spans, Sterling need only hang in there until NFL mini-camps begin.

Earl Myers is a freelance writer from the Philadelphia area.  He closely follows North America's four major sports leagues but just about any sporting event gets his attention.  His goal is to provoke a little thought in his readers.

Contact Earl at emyersiii@hotmail.com

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Photo: forbes.com