NBA players want maximum sanction for Clippers owner Donald Sterling over alleged racist remarks
There has been an uproar surrounding the NBA in recent days over some audio tapes that allegedly feature Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling urging his then-mistress not to bring African-Americans to Clippers games after she posed for an Instagram picture with Magic Johnson.
It's not the first time Sterling has been accused of racist conduct or just generally poor behavior. In fact, NBA player Baron Davis says on Twitter, "That's the way it is...He is honest about what he believes in..Been going on for a long time, Hats off 2 the Team.. 4 playin above it all."
"Today" hosted Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson Monday (April 28), a former NBA player who has been advising the NBA's players' association regarding the Sterling audio tapes.
"All players feel that these comments were reprehensible and unacceptable. We called an emergency call with the executive committee and player reps," says Johnson. "Players weighed in and they wanted me to communicate a few important points to the commissioner."
He enumerates the players' feelings about what should be done going forward:
1. They want an immediate investigation, as they want to make sure those tapes are legitimate because due process is deserved.
2. Mr. Sterling should not be allowed to go to any Clippers playoff games or participate in any playoff games as long as the team remains alive.
3. The players' voice has to be front and center. The players don't want to be passive participants.
4. They want swift and decisive action.
5. They want to make sure that the maximum sanction is what NBA commissioner Adam Silver hands down. Whatever the maximum that is allowable is what they want the commissioner to impose.
Johnson adds, "One of the questions that the players wanted me to convey, is if he has such a history and track record of going things that were improper and that do not represent the league, why were there not sanctions and consequences in the past?
"I'm very confident the commissioner will act in the best interests in the players, the owners and the league and I feel like the only way to do that is to deal out the most severe sanctions possible."