By Jake Gingold
Last week, an audiotape of a recorded conversation between Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his girlfriend, Vanessa Stiviano, surfaced on the Internet.
“I’m not into basketball, but if you’re a man with integrity, why would you put yourself in a situation like that?” said NHS security guard, Cherry Robinson. NHS sophomore Bryan Looby says, “He’s misunderstood. He was talking casually with his girlfriend. He’s still a racist, though.” Junior Lauren Burns says, “I feel like it’s unnecessary for him to think like that.” On the tape, Sterling made extremely racist comments about Stiviano posting photos on Instagram of herself with black people including NBA legend Magic Johnson. He told her to not post pictures of herself with black people and to not bring black people to his games. These comments sparked an outrage by NBA players, coaches, owners and former players.
According to NBA.com, NBA star LeBron James said of the situation, “It’s unacceptable in our league. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, Hispanic, whatever, all across the races. It’s unacceptable…” A few days after the audiotape surfaced, new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life from anything NBA- related and fined him $2.5 million, the maximum fine for an owner. According to ESPN.com, Silver said, “The central findings of the investigation are that the man whose voice is heard on the recording, and on a second recording from the same conversation — that was released on Sunday — is Mr. Sterling, and that the hateful opinions voiced by that man are those of Mr. Sterling. The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful. That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage. Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse multicultural and multiethnic league.” Concerning the banishment of Sterling, NHS junior Emily Bottinick says, “I think it’s rude that people with millions of dollars can say whatever they want. I’m glad that they’re holding him accountable.”
But not everyone agrees with the NBA’s decision. Junior Evan Pelliccia said, “I feel like it was too harsh of a punishment.”