Running a professional sports franchise for years and years with no intention of fielding a competitive team would make someone a douchebag. Owning a bunch of properties and refusing to rent apartments to black people, that puts him in a whole different stratosphere. That makes him basketball’s Marge Schott.
Of course, he hasn’t been found guilty of anything. But he’s being sued for those things, including housing discrimination, for refusing to rent to black people and families with children. And there are two things that indicate that this isn’t just some frivolous lawsuit filed for flimsy reasons: 1) the lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, who probably doesn’t do this thing for just no reason, and 2) it’s not the first time something like this has happened.
He was sued in 2003 for trying to “drive out” tenants, tenants who happened to be black or Hispanic. Just this past November, he was ordered by a federal judge to cough up about $5 million in fees to the plaintiffs’ attorneys.
This story’s been flying under the radar a little bit. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d think it would be a pretty big story if a high profile owner of a sports team was found guilty of something like this. As you may have noticed, there are several black players in the NBA, a couple of whom are even on the Clippers roster. There’s Elton Brand, Shaun Livingston, Corey Maggette, and Sam Cassell is probably considered black back on whatever planet he came from.
I’d think things could get a little uncomfortable for those gentlemen at upcoming team functions. Sterling might want to move from courtside up to the luxury boxes.