Former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling rocked headlines recently amidst allegations of racist comments made during a conversation in September 2013.
It was reported by TMZ that Sterling reacted negatively to a picture of his friend V. Stiviano, who had recently uploaded a picture of her and Magic Johnson on Instagram. It’s claimed he remarked: “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people.”
League commissioner Adam Silver made the controversial decision to ban Sterling from the NBA and he was fined $2.5 million, facing a public backlash from coaches and players including LeBron James, who said: “Donald Sterling has no place in the NBA.” Even president Barack Obama had his two cents, deeming Sterling’s comments “incredibly offensive and racist.”
Sterling now has no affiliation with the team and it is rumored that he has handed over control of the LA Clippers to his wife Shelly Sterling, who is now negotiating the sale of the team.
The Sterling comments were not the first controversy to hit the National Basketball Association. In 2002, Tim Donaghy, an NBA referee at the time fixed many games including game six of the NBA Finals between the Kings and the Lakers. The allegations that Donaghy affected the outcome and eventual champion were vehemently denied by then NBA commissioner David Stern, but Donaghy went on to serve 15 months in federal prisons for his offenses. After his prison sentence Tim went on to do a series of interviews with SBR admitting that he not only did he fix games but other refs skew the calls to get the big name team through to the next round. The disgraced referee was caught because the odds, particularly the totals, jumped and steamed in one direction in the games he was officiating. To this day you can look at the odds history on websites that monitor lines and see when exactly the line jumped. People who were in on his scam were also caught this way as they were the first to bet the line before it rapidly changed and changed by large margins.