The evidence is clear and decisive. Postponing the NFL Draft by two weeks has thrown the world off kilter.
This past weekend, swooping into the vacuum created by the absent Draft, the NBA actually made more headlines and generated more interest than the NFL. The end is near.
Last offseason, Riley Cooper of the Eagles went on a racist rant and had to take a month off before rejoining his team. While he was in hiding, there was much conjecture about whether his teammates, or any players in the league, could accept him back into the locker room. In the end, they did, he had a good year, and recently signed a lucrative contract extension.
But Donald Sterling is an owner. His view of himself as some sort of kindly plantation owner is far more corrosive than Cooper’s pointed N-word assault. Cooper is one man. Sterling represents an entire league entitity, the Los Angeles Clippers. A league that is predominantly black. The general concensus is that Sterling must be forced to sell the team.
Can the NBA do that? “There is reportedly no language authorizing the NBA to sell a team because of an owner’s hurtful remarks or embarrassing behavior. Even if constitutional language could be construed to authorize a forced sale of the Clippers, NBA owners would likely be reluctant to do so given the precedent it would set.” — Michael McCann, Sports Illustrated.
We’ll soon see what sort of backbone or creative problem solving new NBA commissioner Adam Silver possesses. It would not surprise me to learn that some of the other NBA owners secretly share Sterling’s world view, but the real crime, to them, is that Donald’s remarks are bad for business. They will have to support any move the commissioner makes.
Two things are abundantly clear, however. One is that Sterling will never be able to attend a Clippers game, or any other NBA game, as long as the old reprobate lives. And two, no NBA player will want to play for the Clippers as long as he’s the owner.
Back on the football front, there is still nothing much happening. For the 49ers, this offseason, that is good news.