It's odd that this is the event that has brought Sterling's misdeed to the forefront of the sporting world. It's an argument over an Instagram post. Sterling wanted his girlfriend to take down a picture of her and Magic Johnson, because he didn't want someone whom he associates with to be publicly associated with black people.
He didn't explain why he had no problem publicly associating with a woman who was black and Mexican. There's so much cognitive dissonance when it comes to Sterling, whether it's the reconciliation that must be made by anyone who works or roots for his team, or his personal lifestyle and hiring practices with the Clippers that don't seem to jibe with his prejudiced views.
The last part isn't just the grist for a psychological study, it could be what ties the NBA's hands. When it comes to the Clippers, Sterling's track record for diversity at key positions can stand with any team in the league.
In a statement, Clippers president Andy Roeser says "Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life. He feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them."
Baylor was one of the longest tenured African American general managers, and the Clippers have hired four African American head coaches (plus two interim coaches) -- including current coach Doc Rivers.
It would take a very nimble lawyer to stretch Sterling's alleged objection to an Instagram account into a workplace discrimination issue.
"This is merely internet salaciousness, which pales by comparison to some of the serious allegations of misconduct that have been alleged against him and his businesses in the past," Douglas said. "The NBA can not legislate to stupidity. I don't think there's anything that can be done. He has the freedom to speak his bigoted mind if he chooses."
What's alleged here is a far lesser transgression than allegedly denying people housing or work opportunities. Certainly the lack of action in the past only encouraged Sterling to maintain his narrow minded racial views.
After he settled the housing discrimination lawsuit, he later bragged to the Los Angeles Times that "I didn't pay a penny -- the insurance company did ... We absolutely denied doing anything wrong, and rather than it going on and on, the insurance company said it would settle."
He prevailed in the wrongful termination suit brought by Baylor. And his past didn't keep stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin from signing long-term contracts to stay with the Clippers. It's been one enabling and empowering step after another.
The most laughable aspect of TMZ's story is Sterling's apparent request that his girlfriend not bring Magic Johnson to any Clipper games. As if the logical next step after taking a picture with him would be to bring him to a game -- or as if Johnson weren't capable of going to a Clippers game on his own.
He doesn't need to worry about Johnson showing up at a Clippers game anytime soon. Johnson took to Twitter and vowed that he and his wife would never go again as long as Sterling was the owner.