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NBA’s Ruling Against Donald Sterling Raises Invasion of Privacy Debate

by Chris Lingebach
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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (left) and Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. (Photos from Getty Images)

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (left) and Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. (Photos from Getty Images)

LaVar-and-Dukes-Podcast The LaVar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes
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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s landmark decision to ban Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the NBA for life, for racist comments he made in a private conversation which were leaked to TMZ, is sure to set a precedent that racists, in Silver’s words, “simply have no place in the NBA.”

Reaction to the commissioner’s ruling have been wide-ranging, with those most offended by Sterling’s comments being in complete agreement with the subsequent repercussions, but in contrast, there is an invasion of privacy argument to be made.

To demonstrate that opposing point of view, here’s a conversation, spurred by a caller, between 106.7 The Fan’s Lavar Arrington and Chad Dukes.

“I don’t think that because of a private conversation that he was having with somebody, that he should get fined and banned for life,” a caller said.

“I mean God forbid you make a dirty joke about women, or some other group, and don’t have context of what it is, and that’s released to TMZ,” Dukes said.

“I mean you’re going to have a very different view of this whole thing if something like this takes place in your life,” Dukes added. “Now this is not to defend Sterling, because this has been an issue for years with him, but people don’t look at that. They just break out the torches and they break out the pitchforks, and ‘Let’s storm the castle. That’s great, that monster’s dead, now let’s look for another monster.’”

“And that’s what it is,” Arrington said. “And you could be the next one to get slayed.”

“I wonder how many people would be honest enough to realize, that in their lives, if they had a private conversation with someone that they trusted leaked to TMZ, that it could ruin them,” Dukes said. “This is a billionaire we’re talking about, and he was just completely taken down by one scandalous chick. Now, if you believe that the means justify the ends, great. Maybe in this one instance, I’m even inclined to agree with you, but I’m talking big picture.”

Sterling’s racist comments, which were confirmed by Silver to have been made by Sterling, were recorded from a private conversation between the now-banned Clippers owner and his reported girlfriend, V. Stiviano, and later leaked to TMZ Sports.

As a result, Sterling has received a lifetime ban, will be forced to pay a $2.5 million fine — the maximum amount allowed under the NBA’s constitution, according to Silver — and will be up against the league’s board of governor’s, which will have the full support of Silver to force Sterling to sell his team.

Listen to the audio in the clip below.

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