The NBA/Sterling Saga Is About to Get Ridiculous and Scary
The National Basketball Association has the right to accept and reject the owners of its franchises, so there don't seem to be any First Amendment issues with the actions that Commission Adam Silver took today when he issued Clippers owner Donald Sterling a lifetime ban. The NBA has a brand to protect. The teams are franchises. The NBA isn't the government. The NBA doesn't want Donald Sterling as a franchise holder, it doesn't have to have Donald Sterling as a franchise holder. I'm sure this will end up in court, but it all starts with what the NBA deems unacceptable from its franchise owners.
But the Los Angeles City Council is government. And now it is now wading into a situation that the NBA has already taken care of, and in a particularly odious way.
Government colluding with media to go after a private citizen who has not been accused of any actual crime other than thoughtcrime.
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to back the NBA's decision to ban Clippers owner Donald Sterling from games and practices for life, condemning racist remarks attributed to Sterling and demanding a personal apology to Magic Johnson and all Angelenos.
Fine, so far.
The resolution, presented by Councilman Bernard C. Parks, also asked The Times and other newspapers to stop running ads for Sterling’s real estate empire and “alleged civic activities.” The Times had no immediate comment on the request to drop Sterling's advertisements.
The LA government doesn't need to do a thing. But its members clearly want to be seen doing something, even if it's terrifying and illegal. They need to step back and stand down. They're behaving like tyrannical clowns.
The resolution also called on the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP to revoke its nomination of Sterling for the NAACP Humanitarian Award. The award has already been withdrawn after the remarks attributed to Sterling were released by celebrity news website TMZ last week.
If anyone can come off looking worse than than a racist like Sterling, it's opportunistic local political hacks. Congrats, LA!