Donald Sterling’s discriminatory views on minorities extends further than the basketball court. Interesting on a microscopic level – how did he end up with these views? Am I wrong to think that his Jewish background should make him less tolerable of unequal treatment? Yet at the same time this is scary on a macro level – reality is, he is but 1 individual in the vast sea of wealthy figures in this nation and world that hold unequal, discriminatory views towards others and cosign these views with actions that effect and belittle these people.
Accusations of discrimination
“In August 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Sterling for housing discrimination in using race as a factor in filling some of his apartment buildings. The suit charged that Sterling refused to rent to non-Koreans in the Koreatown neighborhood and to African Americans in Beverly Hills. The suit alleges Sterling once said he did not like to rent to Hispanics because they “smoke, drink and just hang around the building,” and that “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.” In November 2009, ESPN reported that Sterling agreed to pay a fine of $2.73 million to settle claims brought by the Justice Department and Davin Day of Newport Beach that he engaged in discriminatory rental practices against Hispanics, blacks, and families with children. In addition, Sterling was also ordered to pay attorneys’ fees and costs in that action of $4,923,554.75. In granting the attorney’s fees and costs Judge Dale S. Fischer noted “Sterling’s’ scorched earth’ litigation tactics, some of which are described by the Plaintiffs’ counsel and some of which were observed by the Court. The Court has no difficulty accepting Plaintiffs’ counsel’s representations that the time required to be spent on this case was increased by defendant’s counsel’s often unacceptable, and sometimes outrageous conduct.”
In February 2009, Sterling was sued by former longtime Clippers executive Elgin Baylor for employment discrimination on the basis of age and race. The lawsuit alleges Sterling told Baylor that he wanted to fill his team with “poor black boys from the South and a white head coach”. The suit alleges that during negotiations for Danny Manning, Sterling said “I’m offering a lot of money for a poor black kid.” The suit noted those comments while alleging “the Caucasian head coachwas given a four-year, $22-million contract”, but Baylor’s salary had “been frozen at a comparatively paltry $350,000 since 2003”.