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Can the NBA force the sale of the Clippers?

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Postby greeney2 » Mon May 12, 2014 12:29 pm

Think everyone has herd all the debacle about the Los Angeles Clippers, and the racial statement from Donald Sterling the owner. This is going to be very interesting all the legal battles that are about to happen. First the woman who taped him, she has to be out of a legal limb, from one standpoint she might have illegally taped him, and may have been extorting him for money. The estranged wife Mrs. Sterling was suing her for the "gifts" that totaled about $2.5M, including Bentleys, a Ferrari, and a Condo. The woman, who we all have seen wearing a face shield, may also be in trouble if these gifts were not claimed as income. So you could add income tax evasion to possible extortion, blackmail, and just illegally taping him which is a crime.

Now the NBA as banned Sterling for life, and taken over the team, however his wife is also a 50% owner, and had nothing to do with what statements he made. How can they also punish her? or can they both be equally punished because it is a co-ownership and each responsible for the others blunders? Complicated by divorce papers in the process, it will be a legal mess from about 6 different issues.

Personally I wonder what powers the NBA has to take away a team or force the sale, without some "due process", or hearing, where Sterling can defend himself? Secondly, the contracts wording about rights of spouses who are co-owners. A wife is not responsible for the crimes of her spouse, and visa versa, and this is not even a crime. The results to the Sterlings, may have been from the woman perpetrating a crime against them--extortion? In that sense they are victims, even in the face of such vile statements.

The other issue is going to be issues of freedom of speech, as despicable as his comments were, and in the privacy of his own home, behind closed doors, as despicable as it was, raises the question of invasion of privacy. A lot of rights, and a lot of ethics involved, and a lot of marital responsibility in a state (California), where property is jointly owned between husband and wife. Do agreements with entities like the NBA or NFL, take away some of these rights granted by state laws, and can they prevail forcing both of them to sell a team they own? This is when civil laws can get very complicated, and can a contract require you to relinquish such rights? Seems like this is a unconstitutional issue within the NBA franchise agreement. Going to get very sticky in court.

What do you think?
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