Clippers owner Donald Sterling was recorded in a private conversation, or a series of private conversations, saying heinous and stupid things. If the things he said did not line up with his behavior that would be one thing, but in this case, they do. The NAACP humanitarian award winner has been sued for discriminatory housing practices in the past, and not even by the lawless Obama government. The federal lawsuit against Sterling was in 2006. The NAACP was set to honor him in 2014. Why the NAACP thought him worthy of honor ought to be asked, directly of those who made the decisions on that award.
Sterling remains married. His estranged wife, Rochelle, is suing the girlfriend who taped him, but not for taping him. The girlfriend’s identity depends on whom you ask. V. Stiviano has more aliases than your average spy. According to Rochelle’s lawsuit, she has been known as Vanessa Maria Perez, Monica Gallegos and Maria Valdez. At least. The lawsuit also charges that the woman with a dozen names sidled up to Sterling so she could love wrestle some of his gigantic pile of cash away from him. So to the occupation of professional shape-shifter with the $10k bubbles on her chest, we can add the world’s oldest profession, if the estranged wife’s allegations are true.
The lawsuit was filed last month by Rochelle Sterling, Donald Sterling’s estranged wife. It claims that Stiviano accepted gifts from Donald Sterling purchased with money jointly held by the Clippers owner and Rochelle Sterling without the wife’s knowledge. Rochelle Sterling maintains that Stiviano persuaded her husband to lavish her with expensive gifts, including a 2012 Ferrari, two Bentleys and a 2013 Range Rover totaling more than $500,000.
Well, that’s chump change to a guy who owns a basketball team. It’s lunch money. But if you’re the estranged wife, half of that lunch money is supposed to be yours, so you employ an army of attorneys to court wrestle it back. Those lawyers will end up costing more than the gifts, but it’s the principle of the thing, or something. These monied fools’ antics will soak up headlines for months to come.
It’s fair to note at this point that there doesn’t seem to be a rooting interest for any of us outsiders in any of this. Donald Sterling appears to be a man who believes his billions entitle him to everything and to live above the rules the rest of us live by. He proved, as if it needed proving again, the even an old toad can buy a sexy girlfriend if he has enough money. That girlfriend taped a private conversation and leaked it to one of the worst media outlets in the world. She didn’t even have the decency to stay bought. Her actions raise the question: Was she setting Sterling up from the beginning? The estranged wife may be motivated by noble views of marriage, but is more likely motivated by plain old greed, jealousy and revenge. The NBA, not known as the best-run sports league around, now has decisions to make. Should it deprive Sterling of his private property for being an awful human being? The NBA does have a brand to protect. When the Mavericks’ mad owner, Mark Cuban, is the voice of reason, perhaps it’s time for everyone to re-assess this whole thing and stop being played in what looks like a gigantic wallow in a collapsed marriage in decadent 21st century America.
Clippers players and fans have done nothing wrong. To the extent that there are victims in all this, they are the victims. The Clippers have risen from being one of the league’s worst franchises to playoff contention. I lost interest in professional basketball years ago, but if I cared about it I would cheer for them. The rest of these people don’t deserve our attention.