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The Lake News Online
  • Lake view: The right to private thought

  • As vile, repugnant, disgusting and reprehensible I personally find the recent racial rants of NBA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, he did nothing which warrants a lifetime ban imposed by the NBA nor a $2 million fine.
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  • As vile, repugnant, disgusting and reprehensible I personally find the recent racial rants of NBA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, he did nothing which warrants a lifetime ban imposed by the NBA nor a $2 million fine.
    At first I thought this was a first amendment issue but this is nothing of the sort.
    Sterling didn't make a speech where he espoused his bigotry and prejudice. He didn't reveal his disdain for black folks in a radio interview or in print.
    If Sterling had exposed himself as a racist publicly he would have brought all of this backlash on his own head. 
    But he didn't and even if he had, his public declaration of stupidity would have been protected under the first amendment of freedom of speech.
    No, this distasteful situation is all about freedom of thought.
    Donald Sterling was taped without his knowledge by a now estranged ex-girlfriend during a private conversation he never intended to be released to the media.
    Our own private thoughts shared with others is an opinion and everyone is entitled to their own opinion or beliefs.
    Sterling is certainly a despicable person but he did nothing which justifies the NBA attempting to force him to sell his team.
    NBA commissioner Adam Silver has announced these sanctions but he must know that Sterling will fight this hasty decision in court.
    If Silver doesn't realize it yet, Donald Sterling will prevail in the courts and none of the sanctions will ever stand the test of law.
    Sterling's statement that the NBA will attempt to force Sterling to sell the Clippers is nothing but an empty threat.
    The fact is Sterling discriminated against no one, he didn't harm anyone, he didn't injure anyone and in fact it was the ex-girlfriend not Sterling who acted detrimental to the best interest/image of the NBA.
    Do the players have every right to be upset, absolutely.
    Do the fans have the right to boycott Clippers games, you bet.
    Does the NBA have the right sanction Sterling for his thoughts, not a chance.
    If we were to follow NBA commissioner Silver's logic, every current owner and every future owner would need to be given a lie detector test to uncover any prejudicial or bigoted thought.
    What would be the logical next step, giving polygraph tests to fans that enter the arenas to watch any professional sport?
    Are we going to ban anyone who has a private or public bigotry from being a spectator?
    Page 2 of 2 - I say that sticking up for a racist ignoramus like Donald Sterling makes my skin crawl.
    It is as abhorrent to me as accepting the fact that White Supremists, American Nazis, Skin Heads or the Klu Klux Klan have the right to freedom of speech.
    But this is America and we must extend the same rights to these hate mongers in order that all of us can enjoy the same freedoms under the constitution. 
    Everyone has private thoughts and beliefs, no one deserves to be punished for simply thinking.   
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