The Legalities of Thoughtcrime

Big Brother Is Watching You 1


NBA Players Want Maximum Punishment For Donald Sterling

The ball is in NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s court. In word and deed, the league’s players have made their stance on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling clear: They want the NBA to levy the maximum punishment possible in response to racist remarks attributed to him.

“They want to know within the bylaws and the constitution, what are the maximum sanctions that are available for the Commissioner to mete out,” Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson said on behalf of the National Basketball Players Association on Sunday. “That’s what we’re trying to understand here and that is what the players want. If it allows a player to voice an opinion where a Commissioner and owners make a decision to remove somebody, then that’s certainly what the players would like to see.”

Speaking before the Clippers played against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on Sunday, Johnson, who played for the Phoenix Suns from 1987-2000, referred to this as a “defining moment” for the NBA and for Silver. The first crisis of Silver’s tenure as NBA Commissioner began on Friday evening when TMZ released an unverified audio recording of Sterling allegedly telling his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, that he doesn’t want her to bring black friends to Clippers games or post pictures with black friends on Instagram.

“The players are outraged by what took place,” Johnson told reporters on Sunday. “Due process has to take place. We are all committed to due process and I think what we’re all struggling with right now is how do we not get too hasty, a rush to judgment. On the same token, we can’t approach this with any hesitancy. And that’s the balance that we’re all trying to strike. I think the Commissioner, and if you think of the NBA in the past, it usually makes decisions really, really quickly and I don’t anticipate this being any different.”

Silver called the audio recording “truly offensive and disturbing” during a press conference on Saturday in Memphis. He announced that the NBA would be investigating the recording and that Sterling had agreed not to attend the Clippers’ game in Oakland on Sunday.

“All members of the NBA family should be afforded due process and a fair opportunity to present their side of any controversy, which is why I’m not yet prepared to discuss any potential sanctions against Donald Sterling,” Silver told reporters on Saturday. “We will, however, move extraordinarily quickly in our investigation.”

Law school does things to people. The training you receive forces you to analyze things in terms of the law rather than morality or right or wrong. So when I see an article saying that some NBA players want Donald Sterling “punished” my first thought is “For what?”

As far as I can see the only criminal statute that may have been violated in this case is the law against secretly recording conversations. That’s a misdemeanor in California. But Sterling isn’t the one who made the recording, his girlfriend is.

California law would also allow Sterling to sue his girlfriend for up to three times his actual damages, so she could be liable for any penalties the NBA imposes on him. There is an additional provision that states that an illegally recorded conversation is inadmissible in court, so the NBA could not legally use the recording against Sterling if this case ends up in a lawsuit.

I don’t know what the federal law is on this topic, so the exclusion provision may not apply in federal court.

The only possible cause of action by the NBA against Sterling would have to arise out of contract. I have no idea if there is a provision in the franchise arrangement between Sterling and the NBA that would allow them to impose sanctions of strip him of ownership under these facts.

I read one article over the weekend that pointed out that if Sterling is forced to sell the team he will make a huge profit, because the franchise is now worth over $500 million and Sterling originally paid less than 10% of that amount.

The fans can take action if they choose to do so, by boycotting Clippers’ games and merchandise.

Discrimination based on race is actionable in state and federal courts, but there is no evidence as of yet that Sterling discriminated against anyone. His sole offense was in thinking racist thoughts and saying racist things. Both of those things are protected by the Constitution.

Maybe he can get the ACLU to defend him.

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52 Responses to The Legalities of Thoughtcrime

  1. The Klown says:

    Shoot me now. I agree with Bill Maher!

    • lyn says:

      LOL. Maher should know. Those ballplayers on the Clippers who are offended should quit. I blame Obama, because he unleashed the race card.

    • 49erDweet says:

      I’m laughing and laughing and laughing and laughing and laughing and…….at the irony of rich guys used to glaring at their opponents, and shooting free throws under all kinds of pressures, claiming their itty bitty wimpy “feelings” are hurt. Hahahahahahahahaha! A

    • DandyTIger says:

      I have to admit, I also liked Maher’s comment about atheist wanting to remove crosses. Also something along the lines of calm down, a cross isn’t going to hurt you, we’re atheists not vampires.

      • elliesmom says:

        I often get a smile out of what Bill Maher says. When his show was “free”, I sometimes watched it. When it went behind a pay wall (to HBO), I wasn’t willing to contribute to his wealth. When there no other shows I wanted to see on HBO I couldn’t eventually see somewhere else, I cancelled HBO. The same thing with NPR. My husband loved the Car Guys and listened to them every week while we did the Saturday errands. I sent them a donation every year for his birthday. When they stopped making new shows, I stopped contributing to NPR. It doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally find a segment there interesting, but not enough of them to financially support the rest of their agenda. I’m not into boycotts much, but I do reserve the right to spend my money to get what I want.

      • The Klown says:

        He actually does say something funny every once in a while. But that doesn’t make up for his every day douchiness.

    • 49erDweet says:

      Every time I agree with buttwipes it’s gutcheck time, but doesn’t mean they’re right all the time, either. Just means law of average is erratically enforced.

    • threewickets says:

      Maher will always be the dick who called Sarah and Hillary CUNTS on live national TV.

  2. The Klown says:
  3. The Klown says:

    Catness doesn’t like Axe body spray so I keep a can near my desk so I can shoo her away when she annoys me. I don’t even have to spray it.

    • lyn says:

      A tube of toothpaste works with my kitties. 🙂

      • Lulu says:

        Hair spray. Cats do not like licking it off. My sissy dog is afraid of the hissing sound but turns into a bird dog when she hears my husbands pick up truck engine.

  4. 1539days says:

    This was kind of a last thread comment, but racism is kind of a sliding scale. You can like everyone equally because you don’t know anything outside of your own experience. You can have a bad experience with one group and let it color your interactions. You can have opinions based on race and not act on them or you could be one of those people who tried to make things tough for others because you don’t like them.

    The last group is the only one the government should interfere in.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Made me think of the destruction of Paula Deen in the media after admitting in a deposition using the n-word describing a black guy who held a gun to her head during a bank holdup. After all that, the lawsuit was dropped anyhow. It’s not like she descriminated against hiring or serving blacks in her businesses.

      • 1539days says:

        Now her restaurant is closed and the employees are out of work.

        I guess she really got her punishment.

        • elliesmom says:

          Her flagship restaurant, The Lady and Sons, is still open and going strong. The restaurant that closed was the one she shared with her brother. I’ve been to both and Uncle Bubba’s wasn’t all that great, and the piece of property is valuable waterfront. I would guess the decision to close it had very little to do with the lawsuit and publicity.

      • 49erDweet says:

        That is so convolutedly stupid it could only happen in progressive Amureeka. I reserve the right to have any thoughts I want if I’m under duress, and anyone saying otherwise is welcome to sit down in their own poop and eat their hearts out.

  5. DeniseVB says:

    Meanwhile as the news was covering a crazy old, rich white guy, the certifiably stupid John Kerry got an butt whipping on the Senate floor today…..

    Nah, nothing will happen, but Cruz sure has a pair. I like that.

    • The Klown says:

      For some strange reason, whenever people like TC or SP make the news and there is a video of it when I search at YT for it by most recent I find a bunch of old, derogatory videos that were recently posted as well.

      It’s like someone is intentionally trying to frustrate searches.

  6. The Klown says:
  7. DandyTIger says:

    Wow, some prog friends are really upset about CA prop 41 giving money for veteran housing. They seem to be saying just because you served in the military doesn’t mean you get to be a burden to society. And yes, of course they want pretty much everyone else to be able to be a burden to society – you’re a racist for even questioning their logic.

  8. The Klown says:

    I was watching Olympic athlete/DWTS contestant Amy Purdy on Ellen and I decided that if had to get a pair of Lt. Dan’s Magic Legs I would get them made 2-3 inches longer so I could be taller.

  9. The Klown says:

    Krauthammer: Ted Cruz Is Right – Kerry Should Resign After Israel Apartheid Comments:

  10. angienc says:

    I have to vent.
    Idiot FB friends. One in particular is a very sweet woman (a Jewish woman who lives in the UES of NYC) who is a total Obot. Really, everything else about her is lovely but she is a total smug elitist LIV when it comes to politics. Anyway, yesterday she actually posted that she “opposed the 2nd Amendment.” Now it took all I had to just ignore her post but I wanted to say “Really? You think human beings don’t have the same God-given right to self-defense and survival as enjoyed by every other creature that walks, crawls, slithers, swims or flies in this world? Because I guarantee you that if anyone comes to harm me or my kin I will assault him with my rifle.” But, as I said, except for the Obot thing, I do like everything else about her, so I ignored it.
    Today, however, she posted a rant about Sarah Palin (in addition to being an Obot, she has serious PDS — so there are 2 things I don’t like about her) and one of her complaints is that Palin refers to Eric Holder as “Holder” to the POTUS as “Mr. Obama” and to VP Biden as “Joe Biden.” I couldn’t take it — I responded to her that while I didn’t want to get into her whole “Palin thing” — “what is wrong with referring to the POTUS as “Mr. ____ (last name)” as that, along with Mr. President and President ____ (last name) was customary in the USA because we deliberated wanted to avoid pompous sounding titles in association with the POTUS.” I also referred her to the Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution (the “Nobility Clause”).

    I think I was pretty nice to her about it, right? I’m sincere here — I don’t want to have a fight with her, which is why I don’t discuss politics on FB, but enough is enough. Calling the SCOAMF “Mr. Obama” is NOT a fucking insult.

    • helenk3 says:

      obots need to find an insult everywhere about backtrack. If they faced the truth about him and his failures they would have to question themselves for voting for him

    • DeniseVB says:

      I have a special *list* on FB for friends like that. Usually for the Obot ones who think the GOP is evil, suffer from PDS, everything’s still Bush’s fault and think Obama is THE Messiah (can do no wrong, read it in the WaPo/NYT !!!1!). Truly the LoFos.

    • threewickets says:

      Manhattan creative-class Obots have their heads up their collective sanctimonious asses.

    • leslie says:

      I once had a client who said I was . . . . . . raaaaaaacist because I referred to bronco as “Obama” in a causal sentence. I asked her to explain her thought to me. She said if I weren’t the R word I’d have said “President Obama”. I laughed in her face. I then said I wondered what she’d say if heard what I used to call “Bush” or Clinton”. She left the group shortly after that and went on to a career in SEIU.

      • leslie says:

        I later kicked a leader of said union out of my office and threatened to call the police if she ever returned to my office in the capacity of a union rep rather than as a patient in my clinic.

  11. helenk3 says:

    random thought

    all the protesters against the keystone pipeline should have to adopt the family of a person that is being kept from having a job because of the protesters. They should have to feed, clothe and house them and pay all expenses until the head of the household gets a job.
    put their money where their mouth is

  12. helenk3 says:

    why do so many want to go back to separate but equal? notice it more and more every day

  13. The Klown says:

    Dave’s put on some weight.

  14. helenk3 says:

    OMG obots must be on the pill

Comments are closed.