COMMENTARY: Sterling Must Go…Now!

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What other bigoted thoughts is Sterling hiding behind the curtain?

Sterling has one of the worst track records with minorities in all of sports. He is one of the largest property owners and landlords in the Los Angeles area.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, Sterling owns and manages about 119 apartment buildings and in 2006, the Justice Department sued Sterling for discrimination for excluding black tenants in favor of Korean tenants.

In 2009, the Justice Department and Sterling reached a settlement where Sterling agreed to pay a record $2.7 million. Meanwhile, during the past 24 hours, civil rights activists, black leaders and NBA players have denounced Sterling for his recent racial comments. And President Barack Obama weighed in with strong comments of his own.

“When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk,” Obama said. “The United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation, that’s still there, the vestiges of discrimination.”

The National Basketball Players Association demanded that Sterling be barred from all playoff games this season. The players also want an explanation of what kind of discipline might be issued against Sterling. And they want – and deserve – a swift decision.

“I think that clearly the National Basketball Association must suspend him, or must say that, ‘We’re going to remove any kind of imprimatur we have on this team if he’s the owner,'” Rev. Al Sharpton said on NBC’s Meet The Press.

“You cannot have someone own an NBA team in this country and have these kind of attitudes.”

Sharpton is right. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver should discipline Sterling immediately and send a strong signal to the NBA – and the nation – that the NBA will not tolerate bigotry – especially from NBA owners.

Punish Sterling, ban him from attending his own games; suspend him; get his attention. Do it today.

What do you think?

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