Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Clipping Free Speech

LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling is an idiot.  I think most of us can agree on that.  The days of shock and dismay over biracial couples and friendships are remnants of another time.  There may be a few pockets of ignorance remaining, but that mindset is drawing its dying breath.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he would try to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.  The cry to "do something" about Sterling's ownership of the team troubles me.  The fact is in our nation, people have the right to be idiots.  They have the right to make idiotic statements. (Anyone old enough to remember Jesse Jackson's "Hymietown" remark?).  The NBA shouldn't do a thing about Sterling's ownership.  Let the African-American players on the Clippers team and other NBA franchises take action - be it a sick-out on game day, public shaming or other avenues of making their disgust known.  Let the marketplace make its feelings known by fans refusing to attend Clippers games, buy Clippers merchandise or demand refunds on season tickets.

There are ways in which pressure can be brought to bear on Sterling without interference with his right to do business.  The marketplace is perfectly capable of handling these issues without the involvement of the thought police or the infringement of a person's property rights (the Clippers) or freedom of speech - even if the speech reveals him to be a jackass.

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