Isn't this the Marge Schott situation all over again?
Originally Posted by HRoi
IIRC Schott was overthrown by her minority partners. That's different - an internal power struggle among company owners - albeit something that was precipitated by similar shitty behavior
Partly yes partly no. Marge was being pressured on all sides; from MLB, from the other shareholders (although she was around a 45% majority shareholder) and from a possible indictment on fraud for using players' names in false "sales" of GM cars from her dealership. Ultimately, she got squeezed. Two major distinctions here however, are that the tape has not yet been authenticated, whereas Marge's comments were fully and knowingly attributed to her, and she made them in public and while conducting team business whereas the comments alleged to Sterling were in a private location, presumably his home.
Ultimately it will come down to what the NBA Constitution, CBA (concerning what actions players may take if any) and probably the Law of Private Associations to determine what may be done.
I am not an attorney, but I play one on TV. Maybe LawyerDad can fill us in. Edited by Kid Nickels - 4/28/14 at 10:57pm
Ah, so it seems like I'm partially wrong. Silver can't get rid of Sterling by himself, but he can with the backing of the other owners. I saw that a whole bunch of them came out with statements basically saying "fuck you" to Sterling. Maybe this motherfucker is indeed all but gone.
The alleged racist and misogynist rants of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling will test the leadership of new NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Sterling's apparent misconduct raises legal questions about Silver's authority and possible punishments to be assessed against Sterling:
Q: Can Silver force Sterling to say whether the voice on the tapes is his?
A: Yes. Under the terms of Paragraph 24(m)(ii) of the "constitution" that governs the 30 owners of NBA teams and establishes the authority of the owners' commissioner, Silver can require Sterling to respond under oath to questions. The commissioner has "the right to require testimony and the production of documents and other evidence from any Member." As an owner, Sterling is a "member" of the NBA. Sterling and his lawyers could delay answering questions from Silver, but if Sterling refuses to admit or to deny that it is his voice on the tapes, he is in violation of the constitution and would face termination. He has no protection from the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment guarantee against self-incrimination, because he is not facing any charge of any crime.
Q: What penalties can Silver issue?
A: Under the provisions of the bylaws, Silver has two sets of powers that he may use. Under either, he can issue a lifetime suspension and a substantial fine. Under Paragraph 24(l) of the constitution that was adopted by the NBA owners on Oct. 26, 2005, he can issue a fine of up to $2.5 million, can suspend an owner indefinitely and can order the forfeiture of draft picks. This provision applies to situations that are not covered by specific rules within the constitution. In another provision, Paragraph 35(A)(c), Silver can issue an indefinite suspension and a fine of $1 million to any owner who "makes ... a statement having or designed to have an effect prejudicial or detrimental to the best interests of basketball." If Silver wants to hammer Sterling, he can assert that Sterling's statements are so egregious that they go beyond the misconduct contemplated in Paragraph 35 and allow Silver to assess the greater penalties found in Paragraph 24. Sterling can argue that he merely made a statement, but the statement at a minimum allows a lifetime suspension and a $1 million fine.
Q: Is it possible for Silver and the NBA to terminate Sterling's franchise ownership?
A: Yes. Under the terms of Paragraph 13 of the constitution, the owners can terminate another owner's franchise with a vote of three-fourths of the NBA Board of Governors, which is composed of all 30 owners. The power to terminate is limited to things like gambling and fraud in the application for ownership, but it also includes a provision for termination when an owner "fails to fulfill" a "contractual obligation" in "such a way as to affect the [NBA] or its members adversely." Silver and the owners could assert that Sterling's statements violated the constitution's requirements to conduct business on a "reasonable" and "ethical" level.
Any owner or Silver can initiate the termination procedure with a written charge describing the violation. Sterling would have five days to respond to the charge with a written answer. The commissioner would then schedule a special meeting of the NBA Board of Governors within 10 days. Both sides would have a chance to present their evidence, and then the board would vote. If three-fourths of the board members vote to terminate, then Sterling would face termination of his ownership. It would require a vote of two-thirds of the board to reduce the termination to a fine. Terminating a franchise would obviously be a drastic remedy, but the potential of the termination procedure gives Silver and the other owners vast leverage in any discussion with Sterling about an involuntary sale of his team.
"But now, this [scandal] has made him relevant again. In his mind, he's the star of the Clippers again. Everybody's talking about him again. In his own way, he'll revel in this. I would bet there's no way [Sterling] will give in and sell his team. There's no way that he's going to do anything but stay and fight everyone until the very end to hold onto this."
This is why there's so much pressure on NBA commissioner Adam Silver to deliver a devastating blow at his 2 p.m. ET news conference. Sterling's inclination will be to keep the team, keep the NBA mired in courts and the Clippers franchise will never survive it. Rivers will never return as president and coach under Sterling, sources told Yahoo Sports, and that'll start the beginning of a player mutiny that could result with several top Clippers also demanding out of the franchise.
Several league officials – including owners and Board of Governors members – told Yahoo Sports they believe Silver has been studying the nuclear option on Sterling: a provision in the NBA's bylaws that would allow Silver to summon a vote of league owners to strip Sterling of his ownership. The NBA would run the Clippers until the team could be sold.
Despite his denial of ownership interest in the Clippers, Magic Johnson and potential investors spent part of Monday working to understand the avenues to which they could eventually make a deal to become Clippers owners, sources told Yahoo Sports. If the franchise becomes available, Johnson wants to be positioned to make a deal.