I understand Bill Zeiser’s “very angry thoughts” about the lifetime ban of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling by the NBA. But in the end, I can’t agree with them.
Sure, Mr. Sterling had his private thoughts outed after his girlfriend surreptitiously recorded them.
But seriously, did Mr. Sterling never consider that a tramp 50 years his junior whom he was plying with real estate and fancy cars might not have his best interests at heart? (He clearly suggested, using words I can’t repeat on these family-friendly pages, that she was sleeping with other men — and that he didn’t mind.)
Does a billionaire lawyer owner of an NBA team really think that he has a private life when he pals around with the world’s most obvious gold-digger since Anna Nicole Smith?
Add into the mix that Sterling’s wife (no, not ex-wife, actual wife and “partner for more than half a century” who didn’t seem to care that Sterling paid for young girlfriends to have sex with) was suing the mistress for a couple million bucks, and my first advice to Sterling about V. Stiviano would have been “watch your back.” But I guess he was too busy watching hers.
So it’s hard for me to feel bad for Mr. Sterling when he said something he never should have said — never even should have thought, but I’m not suggesting the Thought Police, just some common sense — and it got made public.
It’s also hard, or perhaps impossible, to feel sorry for Mr. Sterling getting in trouble for making vile bigoted comments given his past history of racist behavior and rhetoric, including that “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.” The NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, said that Sterling’s racist history was not part of the NBA’s decision-making process regarding the penalty, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us should ignore it.
Putting aside whether Mr. Sterling should or shouldn’t be penalized for comments he made privately, the idea, as Mr. Zeiser suggests, that the reaction is some form of attack on free speech just doesn’t pass the smell test.
Please read the entirety of my article for the American Spectator here:
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