Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Friday, May 02, 2014

Kevin Johnson, The State and The Sterling Decision

What Sterling said and did is not all that important to me. Old man gonna die rich(er) regardless to how this plays out. He really is not going to be hurt by this. On the other hand there are a few things that are very bothersome about this. I'm going to concentrate on one such point here. The NY Times is reporting on the influence that Kevin Johnson, mayor of Sacramento had on the NBA leadership
As the weekend progressed, the person said, Johnson spoke with Silver several times, delivering the message that only decisive action that left Sterling no room to remain actively involved with the Clippers would satisfy the union.

Johnson found other ways to apply pressure. It was no coincidence that by Saturday night, before a playoff game between the Bobcats and the Miami Heat in Charlotte, N.C., James was speaking out forcefully, saying that if the audio was authentic, “there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league.”

By Sunday, the union was telling the league that the players were uncomfortable with calls for the Clippers to boycott their game that afternoon in Oakland, Calif., against the Golden State Warriors. Milder protests were formulated. Still, Johnson continued to let Silver know that he expected him to be swift and tough in punishing Sterling.

They met face to face at the game in Oakland. The next night, on the eve of Silver’s Tuesday news conference in New York, Johnson, in a Facebook post, called Silver’s decision “a defining moment” in the history of a league long associated with social change and progress. He cited Earl Lloyd, the first African-American to appear in an N.B.A. game, in 1950, and Jason Collins, who this season became the league’s first openly gay player.

Near the bottom of his post, Johnson wrote: “At a minimum, Mr. Sterling should be suspended indefinitely, banned from games, slapped with the maximum fine possible, and forced to extract himself from basketball operations. He should be required to name someone from his executive team or family to take over all duties related to the Clippers.”

How much Johnson knew what Silver’s decision was going to be — at his news conference, Silver said he did not reach it until Tuesday morning — is not known. But Silver’s announcement, which included a reference to Lloyd and other N.B.A. pioneers, went beyond the “minimum” that Johnson had advocated.
Let us be clear, as an elected official Kevin Johnson had no business conferring with the NBA on punishing a citizen exercising his first amendment rights. While the private NBA is free to punish any of it's members, no agent of the state should be so involved so long as no criminal actions are involved.

What Obama did on the subject is how an elected agent of the state ought to do. State the obvious and then be silent. Had Kevin Johnson simply stated he thought the comments were racist and that the league ought to "do something" then he would be in the clear. But to collaborate with a private entity to punish a citizen for doing something that the state has no business in is, in my opinion a breech of ethics and possibly brings constitutional questions.