Sports Report: Skeletons Fall from Donald Sterling's Closet
Sports Illustrated and ESPN buried harsh Sterling stories back in the day, the Padres look good for a battered team and a damning video surfaces of the Chargers’ Thomas Keiser.
In case you live under a rock, the Los Angeles Clippers’ longtime owner Donald Sterling made some racist remarks while chastising his girlfriend for posing for pictures with black people, including Magic Johnson.
Eventually, Deadspin released an even longer audio clip. Current NBA players stayed quiet, allowing the National Basketball Players Association to speak on their behalf and work with the NBA commissioner on a proper punishment for Sterling. Plenty of former players spoke out against Sterling in the meantime, saying that the league had to find a way to remove him from the league.
I didn’t think removing Sterling as an NBA owner was possible. It still may not be, but NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s initial ruling bans Sterling from his team and all NBA activities for life. Sterling will also be fined $2.5 million, a drop in the bucket for him, and the NBA is quickly working to force Sterling to sell the team.
Beau Lynott thinks the controversy is a good reminder that racism still exists, and he’s right. As much as the fans, players, and league will chastise Sterling for his remarks and act as though he’s psychotic for his beliefs, he is far from the only person who thinks and speaks that way behind closed doors.
• Other NBA owners wanted to kick Sterling out of the league in 1982, when he was owner of the San Diego Clippers. They quieted down once Sterling agreed to sell the team and then seemed to forget about following up when he never actually did it.
• Sports Illustrated published a 14-year-old anecdote about Sterling beating his son with a belt in front of a Clippers player. At the time, the mag edited the story out because they thought it painted Sterling in too harsh a light.
• This 2006 ESPN article, titled “Donald Sterling’s racism should be news”, was also buried by ESPN’s editorial team when it was written.
• Former Clippers GM and NBA legend Elgin Baylor, who once sued Sterling for discrimination and wrongful termination, told a story of Sterling throwing gum at him during an argument.
• Former Clippers player Baron Davis shed some light on a rumored story from years ago, saying Sterling would sit courtside at games and heckle him, calling him awful names in hopes he’d quit the team.
You’re reading the Sports Report, our weekly compilation of news and information for the San Diego sports fan.
Padres Finding Ways to Stay Afloat
• Despite missing six of their 10 highest-paid players for parts of the last few weeks, the Padres endured a stretch of 20 games without a day off, and finished 10-10. I criticize Bud Black enough that I should also praise him when he keeps the team within 4.5 games of first place with a starting lineup like the one the team is throwing out there these days.
• Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn, has once again stepped away from baseball to battle cancer, which makes this a perfect time for fans to demand that Fox Sports San Diego allow access to the Tony Gwynn statue at PETCO Park.
• The El Paso Chihuahuas, the new AAA minor league team of the San Diego Padres, finished its ballpark and had its first home game ever. That is one beautiful stadium, and I especially love the mini Western Metal Supply building in the outfield.
Stories You May Have Missed
• Catherine Green goes digging around the app Strava, which shows the most frequented paths of bikers and runners in a certain area, to discover the best places in San Diego County for sports enthusiasts to visit.
• Despite the fact that the court case is over, might Chargers OLB Thomas Keiser face punishment from the team or the NFL once they get their hands on this video of him waiting and hiding before attacking a bartender in downtown San Diego? Probably.
• GIF of the Week: When you hit the game-winning shot in the playoffs, don’t forget to strut.
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