Donald Sterling and Slippery Slopes

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Public domain

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is no prince. His recent comments are reprehensible and moronic. But is being a moron grounds for losing your livelihood?

Before you jump on the “Atta Boy, Adam Silver”  band wagon, consider some questions posed by Allen West on the topic.

“There can be no debate that the words of Mr. Sterling were reprehensible and disgusting. But how and why did these words come to light now, when his points of view were apparently well-known for many years?

It seems his “girlfriend,” Ms. Stiviano, decided to tape a private conversation between the two. Apparently, Ms. Stiviano had recently been sued by the estranged wife of Mr. Sterling, so there is some potential nefarious motive involved. Furthermore, the taping of a conversation without consent of the other party is illegal under California statute. There is some question as to whether he knew he was being recorded. Let’s assume for the moment he didn’t.

The national outrage against Mr. Sterling has come from an act that could be illegal and inadmissible in a court of law. Nevertheless, the court of public opinion has tried and convicted Mr. Sterling of being a jerk.

But have we come to a point in America where being a jerk is grounds for confiscation of a private property?

Allen West’s post continues here.

Ben Shapiro furthers the point:

Good riddance to Sterling. But let’s understand that ginning up the mob based on private feelings is a dangerous business. We now live in a world in which racial feelings are more important than racist acts (as Sterling’s housing discrimination non-ban shows), and in which bad thought trumps bad action.

More questions:

  • Did Sterling’s personal views effect the way he ran the Clippers or treated players?
  • Does “free speech” apply to morons? If not, who decides what a “moron” is, and on what criteria?
  • Anyone heard Lefty hate-mongerer Bill Mahrer lately? Jeremiah Wright? Al Sharpton? Why do they get a pass while Sterling gets pummeled?
  • What if someone decides your belief in a divine being, attending a GOP gala, donating to a conservative PAC, quoting Shakespeare or  pouring a bottle of Merlot with dinner are “controversial” – and your business is forfeit as a result?
  • Where’s the outrage over Obama’s ineptitude, failed policies, serial lying and “If you like your plan, you can keep…”?

No one’s shedding any crocodile tears over Mr. Sterling’s lifetime ban.  But is he, as West asks, “guilty of a crime that demands his property be confiscated?”

Once we start down that slippery slope of “bad thought” trumping “bad action,” where does it stop? If someone can get “banned for life” and be “forced to sell” his/her business on the basis of their “opinions” – not activity, but thought -who’s next? And who decides?

Hello, Winston Smith?

Related article: 8 Things That Won’t Get You Banned by the NBA by Ben Shapiro

 

Another version of this post was also published on BuzzPo.

 

“Upon further review, the ruling on the field (court)…” These are the words stated by referees after they’ve gone to the reply booth (monitor) in order to clarify a controversial call. Often, the reason for the review is because of a coach’s challenge. Therefore, in the same light, let us review the case of LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling.

There can be no debate that the words of Mr. Sterling were reprehensible and disgusting. But how and why did these words come to light now, when his points of view were apparently well-known for many years?

It seems his “girlfriend,” Ms. Stiviano, decided to tape a private conversation between the two. Apparently, Ms. Stiviano had recently been sued by the estranged wife of Mr. Sterling, so there is some potential nefarious motive involved. Furthermore, the taping of a conversation without consent of the other party is illegal under California statute. There is some question as to whether he knew he was being recorded. Let’s assume for the moment he didn’t.

The national outrage against Mr. Sterling has come from an act that could be illegal and inadmissible in a court of law. Nevertheless, the court of public opinion has tried and convicted Mr. Sterling of being a jerk.
Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2014/04/folks-youre-missing-point-donald-sterling/#lCwdSO7BssOIhWgv.99

“Upon further review, the ruling on the field (court)…” These are the words stated by referees after they’ve gone to the reply booth (monitor) in order to clarify a controversial call. Often, the reason for the review is because of a coach’s challenge. Therefore, in the same light, let us review the case of LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling.

There can be no debate that the words of Mr. Sterling were reprehensible and disgusting. But how and why did these words come to light now, when his points of view were apparently well-known for many years?

It seems his “girlfriend,” Ms. Stiviano, decided to tape a private conversation between the two. Apparently, Ms. Stiviano had recently been sued by the estranged wife of Mr. Sterling, so there is some potential nefarious motive involved. Furthermore, the taping of a conversation without consent of the other party is illegal under California statute. There is some question as to whether he knew he was being recorded. Let’s assume for the moment he didn’t.

The national outrage against Mr. Sterling has come from an act that could be illegal and inadmissible in a court of law. Nevertheless, the court of public opinion has tried and convicted Mr. Sterling of being a jerk.
Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2014/04/folks-youre-missing-point-donald-sterling/#lCwdSO7BssOIhWgv.99

“Upon further review, the ruling on the field (court)…” These are the words stated by referees after they’ve gone to the reply booth (monitor) in order to clarify a controversial call. Often, the reason for the review is because of a coach’s challenge. Therefore, in the same light, let us review the case of LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling.

There can be no debate that the words of Mr. Sterling were reprehensible and disgusting. But how and why did these words come to light now, when his points of view were apparently well-known for many years?

It seems his “girlfriend,” Ms. Stiviano, decided to tape a private conversation between the two. Apparently, Ms. Stiviano had recently been sued by the estranged wife of Mr. Sterling, so there is some potential nefarious motive involved. Furthermore, the taping of a conversation without consent of the other party is illegal under California statute. There is some question as to whether he knew he was being recorded. Let’s assume for the moment he didn’t.

The national outrage against Mr. Sterling has come from an act that could be illegal and inadmissible in a court of law. Nevertheless, the court of public opinion has tried and convicted Mr. Sterling of being a jerk.
Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2014/04/folks-youre-missing-point-donald-sterling/#lCwdSO7BssOIhWgv.99

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4 thoughts on “Donald Sterling and Slippery Slopes

  1. The First Amendment only applies to government action. This was not a government action. If you are in my home and make comments I don’t like, I can certainly evict you. I can’t put you in jail. Mr. Sterling voluntarily joined an organization (the NBA) and whenever you join an organization, you invariably give up some of your rights. The actual or threatened boycott by sponsors of the Clippers affected all the owners as sponsor revenue is pooled and shared. The owners (through their employee, the commissioner) were looking out for their own self interest and profit. Capitalism and free enterprise at work.

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    1. Good point. But it does not answer the salient question posed by West: “But have we come to a point in America where being a jerk is grounds for confiscation of a private property?”

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      1. Confiscation by the government, absolutely not. But, if you VOLUNTARILY join an organization, you accept their rules. If their rules are such that punitive action can be taken for violation of those rules, so be it. Also, the NBA in not confiscating (i.e. taking control/ownership) of anything. They are forcing Sterling to sell his franchise whereby he will be realizing a profit in excess of $500 million. Other than the fine (again he voluntarily agreed to the rules) the NBA is not getting any of his property or money. Therefore, no confiscation.

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      2. Which NBA rules did he violate?

        http://msn.foxsports.com/college-football/outkick-the-coverage/nba-lacks-the-authority-to-force-donald-sterling-to-sell-the-clippers-050114

        Of Donald Sterling’s Racism and the Rise of Thoughtcrime.

        “This is the thought police at work. Feelings matter more than action. Words matter more than harming others. That sets a radically dangerous precedent for freedom of thought and speech, particularly for those whose thought and speech we hate. Freedom of speech and thought matters especially when it is speech and thought with which we disagree. The moment the majority decides to destroy people for engaging in thought it dislikes, thoughtcrime becomes a reality.

        Sterling’s career should have been ended by public outrage based on his established patterns of discrimination years ago. To end it based not on such disreputable action but on private musings caught on tape demonstrates America’s newfound disregard for the rights of those whose thought we find despicable.” – Ben Shapiro

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