MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Editorials

April 29, 2014

NBA moves swiftly, correctly

There is no place in a civilized society for racism.

There is no place for racism in a country that was built on the foundation of freedom for all.

And now there is no place for Donald Sterling in the National Basketball Association.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver moved quickly and decisively when he banned Sterling for life from the league for racially charged comments that came to light recently. Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million.

Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, made it clear in a conversation with his then-girlfriend how he felt about African-Americans.

It is clear how Sterling’s mind works.

And now it’s clear how the NBA wishes to be perceived.

Racism is ugly.

It’s ignorant.

It’s abhorrent.

The NBA did all it could to rid itself of Sterling.

This could turn into a test whether the NBA has the legal power necessary to force Sterling to sell his team. The league owners can vote him out by a 3/4ths majority.

But forcing any person — even a racist — to surrender assets without due process of law could well wind up in court.

So the commissioner did all he could Monday.

By kicking out Sterling, Silver sent a message to players, fans, sponsors and hopefully to all the rest of us that his league won’t tolerate racism.

We, as a country, have a long way to go.

There are too many examples of racism alive in the U.S. to think this is an isolated moment in time.

But it was Silver’s and the NBA’s moment to prove to us all where they stand for the rights of everyone.

Bravo.

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