NBA commissioner Adam Silver is set to announce the league’s findings pertaining to Donald Sterling’s alleged racist rant on Tuesday afternoon, and the penalty may be lighter than some hoped for. One report has indicated that the Los Angeles Clippers owner will be suspended indefinitely but will not be forced out of the league.
According to TMZ, the NBA has decided to impose a multimillion fine on Sterling and remove him from day-to-day operations for an indefinite period. There has been speculation that the fine could be in the $5 million range and the suspension could be up to five years.
The important takeaway from all this is that Sterling will reportedly be allowed to remain the owner of the Clippers. Assuming that is the case, there are going to be plenty of people who aren’t satisfied with the punishment. Earlier reports indicated that Silver was studying a “nuclear option” that would allow him to summon votes from league owners to force Sterling out.
Obviously, there will still be tremendous pressure from within the organization and around the NBA to get Sterling to sell. Sponsors have already begun ending their relationship with the Clippers, and it’s unclear if they will opt to partner with the team again with Sterling suspended.
What does suspending an owner even mean? It’s not like Sterling was attending practices and teaching guys how to run the pick-and-roll more effectively. Basically, a suspension would mean he has to watch the games from his palace instead of going to the arena, which probably wouldn’t be a safe place for him anyway. I don’t see what this will accomplish.