I should really write something longer about the whole Sterling episode, but I know myself pretty well and there’s a good chance I won’t. So in lieu of that let me just make this prediction.
Here are what I think are the two possible scenarios that eventually unfold from here.
1) Sterling will fight this in court and because he has a near infinite amount of money, he will win. Some court will find that it’s illegal to make someone to sell something because they are racist. After all, the highest court in our land just recently decided that it’s ok to make it illegal to prevent racial discrimination in higher ed. It turns out that the courts have a history of helping out racists.
2) Sterling will fight this in court and lose because the NBA has infinity + 1 amount of money, and he will sell the Clippers and realize a profit of nearly half a billion dollars.
I know I’m being Debbie Downer here, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that cultural, legal, and economic institutions are designed specifically to protect people like Sterling – rich white asshole dudes – who very often happen to also be racist. Ok, they just don’t happen to be racists – being racist is very connected to being a rich white asshole dude, but I digress.
I’m glad the NBA has done something in the direction of the right thing, but I feel compelled to remind you that this is America.