In case you’ve been living under a rock, Donald Sterling owns the L.A. Clippers. He was taped talking to his girlfriend and allegedly making racist, derogatory comments toward minorities.
We all remember what our mothers told us growing up. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I can still picture my mom waving her finger at me while saying that, and I take pride in the fact that I think before I speak.
Sterling apparently did not heed those wise words and now, both he and his franchise are already paying a huge price.
For his unthinkable comments, he is on the verge of potentially losing his team, his coach Doc Rivers, and is already losing sponsors by the hour.
CarMax, Virgin America, Red Bull, Amtrak and Kia have either pulled their sponsorships of the Clippers or have suspended it and as of Tuesday morning the list has grown.
What would possess someone to think this way and make these comments under any circumstance?
Not only did Sterling forget to take into consideration that when, as opposed to if, this got out it would ruin his reputation, it would also create a huge divide between the players, the coach and GM.
I can guarantee you he didn’t think twice about his sponsors, the other owners or anyone. Why would he? He’s already worth $1.9 billion, so why should he care?
The greatest player in NBA history weighed in on this. “As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views,” Michael Jordan said. “I’m confident that (NBA commissioner) Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly. As a former player, I’m completely outraged.”
“There is no room in the NBA — or anywhere else — for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level.”
I don’t think any crisis manager would want to touch this with a 10 foot pole, and if they do, I hope they get a big project fee of around $1.9 billion.