In the on-going saga of the Donald Sterling case, a new twist has materialized that could trigger off a series of dominoes which would negatively impact and change the landscape of the NBA moving forward. There have been rumors circulating from Chris Paul camp, that a potential boycott could occur, resulting in Chris Paul sitting out the upcoming season. The news came in light after reports indicated that the Sterling verdict may not occur as swift and as fast as originally hoped. Nevertheless, the situation remains and an organization and fan base is left dangling on every second hoping a verdict will come sooner then dreadfully later. Chris Paul has every right to make the choice to sit out but it would be a terrible mistake. Especially if his decision solely was based on the time frame of the verdict. Regardless of how malicious and hateful the words sounded on that tape recording, the NBA should not hold the power to act above the law. Laws and regulations have been mandated and instituted by our government for all individuals to receive a fair and adequate trial with the belief that they were innocent until proven guilty. This situation should not be any different. Though we have done everything but place the tombstone on this man career as owner, the system still needs to take its course and Mr. Sterling should have the right to defend himself, in so far that it is a basic human right.
You are probably still asking,”Ok we get it, but how does this send a bad message?” Lets say the court acted on the threat of Chris Paul and straight out removed Mr. Sterling without the appropriate due process. Right there the message is being said that professional athletes are not subjected to the same law that everyone else obeys by. We have seen an array of different incidents occur through our mainstream sports where the punishment did not fit the crime. A professional football owner, in Jim Irsay, has been running the day to day operations for the Indianapolis Colts, even after being arrested for 20k worth of prescription pills as well as driving under the influence. Jason Kidd was charged with a DWI last season and only received a two-game suspension. In 2001, Jason Kidd pleaded guilty to spousal abuse to his then wife Joumana and received no further punishment by the league than a slap on the wrist and anger management classes. Bottom line, the case with Donald Sterling will reach its verdict. Ultimately he will be officially gone from the NBA. Thus what good does it truly provide for Chris Paul to sit out? Let’s be frank, the NBA had knowledge of Mr. Sterling track record of unacceptable incidents. Unfortunately, it took a young women to illegally record and exploit Mr. Sterling for the league to finally do something about it.
Opinion by Dave Villa