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Donald Sterling Refuses to Pay Fine, Plans to Sue NBA
As expected, disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling is not going to go down without a fight.
Yesterday, Sterling’s lawyer informed NBA commissioner Adam Silver that his client will not be paying the $2.5 million fine levied against him last month after TMZ published audio recordings of him talking like a 1960s racist. Moreover, they threatened to sue the NBA is Sterling is not afforded “due process,” as they say “no punishment is warranted.”
Of course, punishment is warranted, and most legal experts agree that the NBA acted within it’s legal rights. This has nothing to do with the right to free speech afforded by the First Amendment. Sterling signed the league constitution agreeing to abide by certain rules, and those rules are pretty clear: the board of governors has carte blanche to take action against an owner who does something to “affect the Association or its members adversely.” And the crazy racist shit Sterling keeps saying definitely affects the Association and its members adversely. Hell, the players were planning to boycott playoff games. Financially speaking, effects don’t get any more adverse than that.
The real irony here is that, if Sterling would just sell the team, he’d get out from under the media spotlight AND make almost a billion dollars before taxes. The guy bought the team for $12.5 million in 1981, and the Milwaukee Bucks just sold for half a billion. So the Clippers, who play in the second-largest media market in the country, would probably go for twice that.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]