Our View: NBA commissioner’s chance to make a statement

DKS Editors

Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling is under fire after the release of audio recordings of a conversation with his girlfriend V. Stiviano in which he questions her about her association with minorities — specifically African-Americans — and asks her to not bring them to his games and keep them off of her social media.

In the recording, he says: “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?”

Former NBA player Magic Johnson expressed that he doesn’t think Sterling should be able to own the team, and NBA legend and current majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats Michael Jordan has said there is no place in the NBA for comments like Sterling’s.

The team protested Sterling’s comments before its game Sunday by wearing t-shirts inside out during warm-ups to hide the team logo. Sterling was not in attendance at the game because he agreed to not attend due to the recording.

Even President Barack Obama expressed his outrage about the comments.

As the controversy continues, many are looking to the NBA to take action against Sterling.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who has only been in his position since February, said he won’t take action, stating, “All members of the NBA family should be afforded due process and a fair opportunity to present their side of any controversy …” but that the NBA will “move extraordinarily quickly” in its investigations.

We agree with the outrage expressed by so many of those involved with the NBA.  We understand that in this situation, Sterling has a First Amendment right to state what he pleases. However, we think Sterling’s comments are inexcusable and have no place within the league.

We also think the NBA should take action against Sterling.

Although Silver has said he cannot comment on sanctions against Sterling, we think he should sanction the owner.

Obama has expressed his faith in Silver to do the right thing, and Miami Heat forward LeBron James was quoted in the Sun-Sentinel as saying, “[Silver] must do something fast before this gets out of hand.”

Silver’s actions in this situation will set the scene for the rest of his time as NBA commissioner.

We hope he chooses the right course of action that will limit racist behavior in the NBA.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.