If you watched the news conference of the NBA Commissioner what you just saw was a gutless lynching to appease a public mob clamoring for Sterling's hide.
What's that you say? That Sterling's comments were so awful he deserved what he got? Of course Sterling's views on race are abhorrent. But you are missing the point, much like the comment of this misguided "professor" who left a comment:
Third, your "slippery slope" argument here lacks merit. You contend that if Sterling is punished, team owners could be subject to punishment for any political position they take, even those that are controversial in the public eye. The problem with your argument is that you ignore the fact that certain ideas or actions are so fundamentally and inherently wrong that they can be placed in a category extant from those you list (support for Obama care, etc.) For your position to be consistent logically, you would have to be saying that opposition to Obamacare is equally morally wrong as blatant racism. Are you intending to say that hatred on the basis of race is only as morally wrong as opposition to a healthcare program? Somehow, I suspect not.
Dear Professor: we assume you hold the Altruist/Statist chair of ethics at some local public school.
"some ideas are so fundamentally and inherently wrong..." you write.
Oh really? According to who? You? According to the public?
Like when the "public" incarcerated Japanese Americans during WWII just because they were Asian and the Supreme Court upheld concentration camps for Americans? See, Koreamatsu v. US. 323 U.S. 214 (1941).
Like when the public passed laws for the forced sterilization of mentally challenged adults, and the Supreme Court upheld the law? See, Buck v.Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927), wherein Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, writing for an 8-1 majority famously wrote "three generations of imbeciles are enough."
Like when the public clamored to prevent farmers from eating their own produce and the supreme court upheld that? See, Wickard v Fillburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)
In YOUR view, professor, with YOUR ethics, and YOUR determination of what passes for some ideas that are so fundamentally wrong, the NBA was correct to ban Sterling.
And while I happen to agree with your view on racism, what if I don't agree with your view that the US is a Christian country? Or your view that women should not wear skirts above their knees in public. Or YOUR view that creationism is the correct science to be taught in schools.
The fact is that speech is speech and ideas are ideas and whenever you appoint anyone to determine that there are some generally accepted set of ideas that "everyone agrees with", well, get ready for concentration camps and forced sterilization and the imposition of Christian/Muslim/Buddhist morals on society.
When you punish people for ideas, no matter how stupid and repugnant those ideas are, you are putting you faith in people like our Statist professor that what they find offensive you find offensive.
We're not willing to roll the dice. We would rather the market place vote on Sterling's racism.
See You In Court, where ideas matter.
Donald Sterling, the octogenarian billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers exploded across the news this past weekend as lurid details of his conversation with his (fifty some odd year) younger girlfriend were exposed in a tape of the phone call.
Now all NBA fans can be fully briefed on Sterling’s atavistic views on race and sex, which we will summarize for you thusly: his girlfriend can have black friends, she can even sleep with black men, she just cannot engage in the public disgrace of posting pictures of her with black men on her Instagram account, nor should she bring “those people” with her to Sterling’s Clipper’s home games. Sterling’s comments harken back to an era when Americans of African descent were commonly referred to as “the blacks”. Think Archie Bunker, just with a billion in the bank.
We have a few thoughts. First, who would have bet that Sterling knew what Instagram was and could access it?
Second, make no mistake, Sterling’s views are repugnant and reprehensible.
Third: and the NBA should not do a damn thing about it. No fine. No press conference deploring his words. No suspension. Nothing.
Why? Glad you asked.
Sterling’s views fall clearly within the purview of the first amendment. Furthermore, these are his private views, expressed during an intimate (ughh, even the thought ruins our appetite) conversation with his half century younger girlfriend. If you want to publicly excoriate Sterling for being racist, why not also trash him as being a sexist? He is clearly paying for sex, or at least companionship, and last we heard, that might be illegal. Or not (www-date-a-millionaire- type websites abound).
Sterling has the right to his views. He has the right to play Deutschland Uber Alles before every Clipper’s home game and throw up a Nazi salute as well. Sterling has the right to tell fans he loves Obama Care, or his has the right to say only rich white American men should get health care. And there’s the rub. Because the moment Sterling gets officially punished for his views on race, every other NBA owner runs the risk of having their support for Obama Care, or gay rights, or any other issue, punished for offending other league owners. And you don’t want to open that Pandora’s Box. It’s a mess.
The solution is simple. Let Sterling’s ideas meet the market place. Will fans now attend the games of an avowed racist team owner? What television station will offer a lucrative cable contract? What local businesses want to now be associated with the Clippers and buy luxury boxes from their moronic owner? Who wants to advertise on the Clipper’s radio broadcast of their home games? What business wants to buy advertising at the Clipper’s home games? What coach would agree to work for such an owner? What player would sign a free-agent contract with Donald Sterling?
Leave Sterling alone. Really. Leave him completely alone. He will be forced to sell the team within a few months as he loses his fan base, can't sign players or a coach, and can't sell advertising. Then the NBA doesn’t have to wade into the morass of reviewing the political views of its owners and players.
See you in court.
Not to be sexist, but his GF does appear to be mucho exotic. The benefits of being a billionaire.