A thought on that – consider the opposite of the position.
If it’s okay to allow students with lower test scores in because we want more black kids in a school then it should be okay to allow students with lower test scores in because we want fewer black kids in school.
Since posting I’ve been following the story of the LA Clipper’s owner. The man was quoted:
“In your lousy f**ing Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with — walking with black people,” the man says.
“If it’s white people, it’s OK?” she [the other individual on the phone] responds. “If it was Larry Bird, would it make a difference?”
Bird, the longtime Boston Celtics star, was Johnson’s NBA rival.
“I’ve known (Magic Johnson) well, and he should be admired. … I’m just saying that it’s too bad you can’t admire him privately,” the man on the recording says. “Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don’t put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.”
Horrible. Ugly and horrible.
No one disputes this – but what to do about it?
The first and obvious answers are fairly easy.
- Quit going to his games
- Quit watching the team
- Quit advertising with or sponsoring the team
- Quit working for the man
But can anything be done to punish the man legally or by the NBA? And if so, what should it be?
The first first – Can we punish him legally? I’m not sure how labor laws work during private conversations unrelated to on the job activity, but if they do, specifically in California, any black employee has a case. If such laws do not include private speech between a man and his girlfriend, then there is little recourse available.
In either case, I have long maintained that an individual retains the right to personal preference – even if that makes him an ass. In fact, BECAUSE it makes him an ass is why we need to protect individual liberty. So, should it be illegal to hold bigoted beliefs? No – it should not.
But the NBA is not the government ans the league can do damn near whatever it wants. It can suspend Silver, fine him or both. In fact, there are probably a ton of things it can do beyond either of those two options.
And I admit, I’m not sure the right and best course of action. Thoughts include:
- Release the players from their contract to the team
- Ban Silver from all team operations
- Buy the team from him and sell to the highest bidder
Again, I don’t know what the best answer is – perhaps after all is said and done, the damage will occur without any intervention: players won’t sign with him, sponsors will flee and advertisers will vanish.