What a weekend, especially if you’re a sports fan. We saw a lot great, some good and bad and unfortunately one really ugly.

The alleged recording of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist comments to his girlfriend in a private conversation was hard to listen to, but it illustrates how far we still need to go in society before we are accepting of others.

Here is part of the audio that TMZ unveiled originally, and then Deadspin produced and extended version. 

This isn’t the first time Sterling has been in trouble with the NBA and I’m very curious to see what the league does. Does the commissioner have the power to force Sterling out of the league and sell his franchise?

I believe we can learn a lot from his comments. Many of us are guilty of some form of racism, intolerance or bullying from time to time. Often it might be in a private conversation between friends or your spouse or significant other, similar to the above conversation, and I wonder how many of us have voiced similar thoughts in private?

I heard a lawyer suggest Sterling’s girlfriend had been coached to ask him certain questions and that this was a set up. In California it is illegal to tape a private conversation and she already has a lawyer, so I don’t see this story ending quickly.

I feel many of us get upset over his comments, obviously because it is disheartening to hear them, but also because we look at sports as entertainment and a release from everyday life, and we don’t like it when we are reminded that sports figures, athletes, coaches, trainers, owners and all those involved with the sports we love are just as likely to have similar faults to us.

I listened to many people suggest it is too bad that Sterling’s comments are overshadowing the best first round playoffs series the NBA has ever witnessed, and from a sports fans perspective I agree, but from a societal point of view, this situation can teach us that we still have room to improve when it comes to accepting others.

It will be fascinating to watch how the NBA handles this situation. Will commissioner Silver have the legal power to act swiftly? The other question is why did it take this long for the NBA to react. Sterling has a track record that suggests he is a racist. He was taken to court for refusing to rent to certain minorities. I know this is separate from his NBA team, but it seems the NBA was just hoping he’d just go away. I’d hope they take more of a stand and show some leadership this time.

We can’t ignore Sterling’s comments, but we can’t let them overshadow a great weekend in sports.


  • The Blues fell apart in the third period, and once again they are out in the first round. The Hawks have more top end skill and it showed throughout this series. The Blues have to hope that Tarasenko, Schwarz and Steen can emerge as game breakers.
  • In 2011, the Sharks were up 3-0 on Detroit then lost three straight before
    winning in game 7. The Kings have won two straight and are now back in the series. The good news for Sharks fans is that their team has been here before, so maybe they can lean on the previous experience of choking for three games in a row, and not four.

  • What a comeback by the Ducks. Tyler Seguin has now been on both sides of an epic comeback/collapse. He obviously loved the Bruins final 10 minutes in game seven last year much more than he did the final three in Dallas last night. I love that no lead is safe in this year’s playoffs, and hopefully that trend continues into the 2nd round.
  • For 11 months leading up to the draft last year Seth Jones was projected by everyone to go #1. A few weeks before the draft the Avalanche said they wouldn’t be taking him. Many questioned their reasoning, but 10 months later no one can debate they didn’t make the right call taking Nathan MacKinnon. This year Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad are #1 on most lists, but that doesn’t mean the Panthers feel the same way. Sam Bennett could go #1, and Leon Draisaitl, despite many unproven allegations of a “lack of battle” could also be an excellent pick. The 2014 draft will have some surprises.
  • The Raptors/Nets game yesterday was one of the most entertaining NBA games I’ve seen in a long time. Kyle Lowry hobbled around on one leg the entire game, and he played great. DeMar DeRozan couldn’t hit a shot in the 2nd half, but he made two excellent defensive plays late in the game. The Raptors are making it hard not to cheer for them.
  • Vince Carter nailed a 3-point buzzer beater to give the Mavericks a surprising 3-1 series lead. He missed an identical shot for the Raptors years ago, and it is always good to see people bounce back.
  • I’m surprised how tame the Flyers/Rangers series has been compared to the rest. That series hasn’t had nearly the animosity or physical play that we’ve seen in the west conference series and the Pitt/CBJ.
  • It sure would be nice to be in a city with NHL playoffs. Hopefully soon. But I highly recommend you take in a game or two of the WHL final between Edmonton and Portland. It was great hockey last year and I’m sure it will be just as exciting this year. The Oil Kings will host games 3 and 4 on May 6th and 7th at Rexall.
  • The Oil Kings are damn good. They’ve had nine players drafted since Derek Laxdal and Steve Hamilton were hired, while Cody Corbett signed a UFA deal with Colorado and they will have four, possibly five, more players drafted this year. I think it is time both of those coaches are promoted. Read here.

  • You should also check out the Edmonton Rush playoffs. Their first ever home playoff game will be Friday May 16th.
  • A huge Thank You to all of you who played in our 3rd annual WSOP poker tourney. We raised $12,000 for the MS Bike Tour. Extra congratulations to our two winners. On Saturday, Louise Lieu become our first female winner. On Sunday, Sanjeev Bhardwaj took home 1st place and a seat at the WSOP main event in July. Good luck to both of you and thank you to Paulo, Jennifer and the staff at Century Casino for hosting our event.

Recently by Jason Gregor:

  • Krusher

    Sterling should have his manhood cut off and fed to a bunch of dogs in front of him while he rolls around in pain. Unreal a guy like that has the bank account and business success he does.

  • ubermiguel

    I took my family of four to Game 1 Oil Kings v. Medicine Hat in the lower bowl for $120. My kids loved it (especially seeing the players line up before each period) and I had way more fun there than all the Oilers losses I saw this year. Why is the rink not full every game? Great value for my entertainment dollar. Granted the quality of hockey is way below the NHL, but for non-hardcore fans like my family it is a great time.

  • I think this is a far cry from what most normal people would say in private.. So I don’t think this is at all excusable or defensible. It’s clear in his argument he was quite serious in his comments too (if it was really him )… That said, this does sound like a set up of sorts.. But she didn’t force him to say bad stuff. Just recorded it.

  • Craig1981

    I think regardless of what the NBA tells Sterling to do, he has no choice but to sell. I highly doubt any quality player would sign to play for him and if I were on his team I would be asking for a trade as soon as playoffs are done……..plus I doubt many self respecting fans will be spending their dollars on much Clipper merchandise (The team doesn’t even want to wear the logo.

  • ubermiguel

    Re: Donald Sterling

    If Donald Sterling made those comment in private as was taped and had no knowledge of being taped he is protected by federal wiretapping laws .

    I’m not defending Sterling I’m defending the Law.

    I think people are entitled to think the way they want, and to express those thoughts in private without fear of being recorded and having the results blasted all over the news.

    • A-Mc

      What an asinine comment. He has a history of blatant racism and is a high profile owner of a franchise in a league which profits from players that are overwhelmingly African Americans. His girlfriend (who he directed the comments to ) is also part African American. You need to get out of your cave more often.

    • A-Mc

      The NBA is so fraked.They cannot do squat if this voice recording was obtained by illegal means.Its likeit never happened in a court of law.

      Court of Public Opinion though is another banana. The guy is done as an NBA owner.You know who should buy this team? Magic Johnson. That would be irony in all the right sense.Maybe he and Barkley could get a few guys together and form a group.Be the biggest show on Earth if they became owners.

      The Blues were touted as SC contender fromday 1 of the season. Everyone ballyhooed their balance offense. Great Defense. Well their team was a real good team they lack imo one thing that the Oilers have in spades going forward. Game breakers.IMO the Blues cannot compare to the Oilers in that regard.Who would I’d rather have on the ice to get me a goal?Backes or Hall. I’ll take Hall everyday of the week. Eberle or Taresenko.Its no contest.It Eberle. when the Blues needed a goal they were found wanting for guy who has that “it” factor.Jonathon Teows has that factor.When the Hawks needed a goal he stepped right up and delivered time and time again.

      Until the Blues aquire that guy they will be imo an also ran in the WC. A good team.But a team that lacks that “guy”.

      The Kings have madeit a series. But the Sharks will hand then their golfclubs tonight. Goodbye see ya later.

      Dustin Penner went to the proverbial doghouse after being traded to the Caps this off season. If I’m MacT I sign him on a 1year contract for the 3rd line.

  • ubermiguel

    Lets face it , most people in the know knew Sterling feeling toward minorities. He girlfriend is blackmailing him, his wife is suing the girlfriend. I think we should wait for the facts as they seem to be coming slowly. Why did the NBA put up with this , why did the players and coachers put with this before this incident. This man has a history.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Sometimes you gotta look at the bigger picture, Herbie boy. While the central figure in this drama is an NBA guy, “isms” occur in all sports, including the NHL.

      Certainly, there have been instances of visible minorities being treated poorly in this league – see Avery / Laraque. The disparity in ratio of Canadian First Nations hockey players and coaches in the NHL compared to the general population is an issue. The TSN feature on gays vs culture of hockey was insightful.

      There are some problems affecting society that permeate into the NHL, unfortunately. Any story outside of who the Oilers are going to draft so they can finish in 23rd next year is welcomed, in my opinion anyway.

      And if you don’t want to read the offering, you are a simple mouse click away from disappointment.

  • A-Mc

    It seems so strange to me that people are still racist to that degree; although sterling is an old fart and things were different for most of his life.

    The GF and I were discussing racism this weekend. We dont consider ourselves racist in the slightest. But is there a fine line between racism and truthful observation?

    We frequently observe certain negative things that happen in this city and they are most commonly done by 1 ethnic group. To be pissed off about it or to anticipate it happening, is that racism? *shrug*

    • I know what you’re getting at, and I’ll ask you this.. Would you prevent these people from being around you, no matter what they were like? Or do you at least understand that while there may be many bad seeds there are still good people amongst this group?

      I think it’s one thing to be annoyed with a commonly troublesome group of people and another to consider them all to be the scourge of the earth without any consideration that they may not be like these folks that you find doing bad stuff frequently.

      I don’t know, but it sounds like a sterling paints them all with the same brush

      • A-Mc

        I would not prevent them from being around me, but because my experience is such that this certain group of people tend to have a high number of disrespectful/aggressive folks, i would naturally avoid any situation where I’d be exposed to a large group of them.

        We always judge people based on their actions, so we certainly wouldn’t prevent anyone from any ethnicity to be around us for any reason other than if they were disrespectful/combative/aggressive in some way.

    • Rick Stroppel


      Please tell us the “1 ethnic group” that you think is responsible for these “negative things”. You say that these “negative things” [I assume you mean crime] is “most commonly done” by these people. You are alleging that the majority of crime in Edmonton (not just a disproportionate share) is done by this “1 ethnic group”. Who are they? What is the basis for your statement, I mean actual FACTS, not “everyone knows that”?

      I am so glad I live in Canada! No racism here! Not like the USA!

      • A-Mc

        You’re making many false assumptions here. I’m not talking about crime and I’m not talking about all crime in Edmonton being the result of 1 ethnic group – that would be absurd.

        We’re discussing the topic of Racism, not which race does what and why we don’t like it. Doing so would be in poor taste and it certainly isn’t a conversation for a hockey fan board.

        The tone of your post makes you come across as being on the offensive; not sure why you feel you need to be that way. Its completely reasonable to have an intelligent conversation about the important topic of racism with out degrading to racial slurs and finger pointing (Not that that’s what you were doing).

  • Kodiak

    Sterling’s comments are reprehensible, as is his obvious personal feelings and thoughts about race no ifs, ands or buts. I don’t agree with nor would I ever defend his belief system.

    But that is the underlying “dark side” of freedom. If we are truly allowed freedom of thought and speech, then you have to accept you aren’t always going to like what you hear. And no matter how disgusting or distasteful those thoughts may be, they cannot ever be used to punish that individual.

    That is the slippery slope of oppression.

    Obviously any rational person would not agree with Sterling, but to try and legally punish someone for their beliefs leads to a never-ending issue of morality and ethical behavior as compared to actual illegal behavior.

    The fact is, the only law broken here was by Sterling’s partner by recording and releasing the tapes, accidentally or intentionally. As far as punishing Sterling, the NBA is handcuffed …. they have no grounds when it comes to owners who don’t have contracts with morality clauses attached as the players do, unless there is some contract they sign with the league that contains morality clauses when they purchase a team, but I have never heard of that.

    The only result of this will be public backlash and pressure placed on Sterling, and/or some form of protest by his players, who also have to be careful they don’t violate their contracts as they could actually be suspended and lose their money if they choose to walk out on the team, which would truly be a sadly ironic chapter to this.

    • For me there is two points here.. The legal side and the moral side. To me, I don’t care about the law here. Who cares. If someone hides behind freedom of speech, so be it. But as is also my right, I’ll have no problem telling that type of person how I feel and eliminating the from my life or what not. The legal issue is really meaningless to me.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Well-stated, but there has to be a line. Unfortunately, we can use this site as an example. There have been people who have attacked the owner of this hockey team, not because of the putrid results on the ice, but because of his religion. Should anti-Semitic messages be left posted under the “guise” of free speech?

      Again, I agree with your point that no matter how distasteful and appalling you and I may find Sterling’s statements, he did not break the law.

      However, the NBA, as a business, should be allowed to sanction Sterling as they see fit, in order to protect their business. Just as the owners of this site can – and have – editted or removed comments they feel cross the line.

  • The Soup Fascist

    When discussing issues as sensitive as this, I think it is best to remember the words of Austin Power’s father Nigel, who so eloquently summed things up as follows:

    “There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and … the Dutch.”

    That pretty much says it all.

  • A-Mc

    There would have been a game 7 [Stars/Ducks] had the D-Man [ think it was Daley ] not made a bad clearing pass off the boards to the waiting Duck on blue line, after Dallas had a clean win off the face off. He had a 20 ft gap, could have almost skated the puck out or certainly had time to make a better play.That was on Ducks 3 rd goal. The rest is history.

  • A-Mc

    I have travelled the world…………at least three time, here is the irony.

    In my estimation, everyone is a racist! The world is full of people who love to pretend they are tolerant, and NOT racist………..I call those people liars.

    I believe that the least racist people are white people, especially Canadians.

    This is coming from a brown man, who has been the subject of racism half my life. I will not point fingers but I know that white people are unfairly tagged with the “racist card” all to often because of idiots like Sterling!

    The most racist people I have met are NOT white!!

    • DieHard


      People seem to think racism is white against non-whiles only. This is so wrong. Every race on earth has a percentage that are prejudice towards others. It should be shunned wherever it arises. Why is it ignored (by the media) when it happens to whites.

      Sterling will eventually be forced to sell. The franchise is worth 700M (or at least it was).

  • A-Mc

    People should be able to say what they want and think what they want.

    If you run a business and your words piss off your customers and your staff, you may lose money, maybe even your business. Hey, actions have consequences.

    What I don’t accept is the institutionalized, standardized outrage where there is only one “right way” for certain groups to speak or think. Racists come in all colours, but the standard by which they are judged varies by race.

    • The Soup Fascist

      But using your business analogy, what if your employee or in this case, partner’s (Sterling’s) ability to say “what he wants” effects YOUR business.

      If you run a flower shop and the free speech of an employee/ partner reduces your ability to make a living and damages your business’ reputation, you have the opportunity to deal with him / her as you choose.

      Hence, if the NBA believes Sterling speaking his mind is causing their league to suffer damage they should (and will) deal with him.

      No doubt Stiviano is not blameless in this ugly incident, however it is pretty hard to put lipstick on the pig that IS Donald Stirling’s views on African Americans.

      • DieHard

        What he said will hurt his business, I expect. So he is the first to suffer. He wasn’t speaking on behalf of the NBA so why does the league have to do anything?

        I am not defending the man. I am objecting to the collective hand-wringing. It’s as if there is correct tolerance and incorrect tolerance, or unacceptable prejudice and acceptable prejudice. People are so self-righteous.

        In a healthy society people would just shake their heads and find something important to worry about.

        • The Soup Fascist

          I agree to a point that this is an easy bandwagon to jump on and in the scheme of things there are likely many more terrible incidents of racism in the world that we could discuss.

          But I think that the fact this man owns a franchise in a league gives the league latitude to deal with his behaviour. Whether you think it is right or wrong the league will, I believe hammer on him.

          The fact it is a franchise is the key. If I own a McDonald’s store and put up a sign under the big M saying “we prefer white customers” you are correct to say it is going to hurt my business – but don’t think for a minute that the folks at McDonalds are not going to take the sign down and take away the franchise before the sun sets.

          Tomorrow is going to be a bad day for Mister Donald Sterling.

  • DieHard

    The NAACP have cancelled the life time achievement award he was due to receive, and want the LA chapter to rescind his previous awards.

    What did the awards signify? I don’t know, but I suspect it was for writing big checks.

  • J-Dogg

    Adam Silver, the new commissioner of the NBA, has banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the league for life and fined him $2.5 million. Under the ban, Sterling will not be allowed to attend games or practices or make decisions about the team he owns. It is not yet clear whether the NBA will force him to sell the Clippers.

    I find myself agreeing with Bill Maher, who wrote of the private remarks that got Sterling into trouble: “Sterling def[initely] a racist, but take away his team? Clippers shldn’t have played yesterday? Calm down, being [a jerk] is still legal.” I guess Maher didn’t call his old show “Politically Incorrect” for nothing.

    To make matters worse, I find myself agreeing with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. He warned that that NBA should be “very, very careful” in judging “what people say and think, as opposed to what they do.” What a quaint distinction.

    In theory, at least, Americans still have the right to hold offensive and even racist opinions, and to express them in private (or in public for that matter). To strip Sterling of his ability to control, or even to participate, in his own business and to impose a massive fine for private statements expressing a degree of racial prejudice strikes me as offensive and dangerous.

    To be sure, the NBA needs to protect its business (or its “brand,” to use the current jargon). Accordingly, it needed to take some action against Sterling. But declining to impose the draconian measures Silver came up with would not have hurt the NBA. If Silver had opted for fairer, less severe penalties, players would have continued to play and fans would have continued to watch. Show me the player who would have forfeited part of his paycheck if, for example, Sterling had been suspended for half a season.

    Silver’s decision was not about protecting the NBA. More likely, it was about a new commissioner hoping to make a favorable impression and curry favor with the players and the media. Silver gets to play the hero at the expense of a villain about whose rights no one cares.

  • gus1000

    I find the discussion fascinating amongst hockey fans. We aren’t all as dumb as people say :)Once in awhile world topics enter our realm and many good points are brought up.

    But I do have a question: Why are black people labelled African American? Who gave them that particular label? Aren’t they just Americans if that was where they were born? Wouldn’t we be right to label everyone else this way? Our continent originates everywhere but here. We are all immigrants.

    With that, that would make me Russian Canadian, my bride French Canadian, and my children a mixture of French/Russian Canadian. I, nor my children are called anything besides Canadian, and we are damn proud of it. When I applied for my passport, they never had a Russian Canadian box to check.

    Anyways, just one of those curiosities I would inquire about.