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Stephen A. Smith on D&C: ‘Nothing less will suffice’ than getting rid of Donald Sterling

04.29.14 at 10:02 am ET
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Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith

ESPN’€™s Stephen A. Smith joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to discuss the racist remarks that Clippers owner Donald Sterling allegedly made. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

While Sterling’s alleged remarks recently created an uproar, the Clippers owner has made headlines with his discriminatory actions in the past. Still, Smith made the case that this was dramatically different.

“You could have a spouse or a partner, and you could know that they’re cheating on you and the thought of that hurts you, but it’s something to know that, and it’s something entirely different to walk in on them and witness them actually doing it,” Smith said. “And in the case of Donald Sterling with the audio tape, it’s sort of tantamount to that because it’s one thing to hear the stories about him, to sort of suspect it and know it, but at the same time you’re working, you’re playing the game you love, you’re coaching the game. You love doing what you want to do and that’s it. Or if you’re a co-owner everyone’s making money, you live your life, you live this — fine.

“It’s another thing entirely for it to slap you in your face right there, front and center, and say, ‘Here I am. This is who I am. This is who I’ve been. This is who you’ve known all this time and there’s been unequivocal evidence and it’s clear there’s nowhere else to go but where you are. … Everybody has a right to feel the way they want to feel, and you can’t legislate what’s in people’s hearts, but when they throw it in your face flagrantly, it’s the ultimate form of disrespect, and it’s something that can’t be tolerated and that is how it’s viewed what Donald Sterling has done and most of white American and beyond can’t ever be accused of being guilty of being that stupid.”

The NBA will address the situation on Tuesday when Commissioner Adam Silver holds a press conference in New York City at 2 p.m.

“I think there’s one thing he could say — he could say Donald Sterling will no longer be an NBA owner,” Smith said. “Himself and the owners collectively standup in unison and have made the decision that Donald Sterling will be removed as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers … not only can there be a $1 million fine, there can be a $2 million fine, there can be a complication of draft picks from the Clippers organization, but there can also be a lifetime ban, which could ultimately force Donald Sterling to have to sell this team … There are mechanisms in place within the constitutional bylaws of the NBA that would facilitate somebody else taking over the team and taking it away from Donald Sterling.

“Knowing that it’s perfectly within the purview of Commissioner Adam Silver and the owners, according to what Lester Munson our legal analyst at ESPN just explained on Mike and Mike, it is within their power to get rid of this man, and so because of that reality I don’t think there’s any question that nothing less will suffice in this case.”

The Clippers staged a silent protest during Game 4 against the Warriors on Sunday, and, according to Doc Rivers, the team is considering either having a player or Rivers address the crowd before Game 5 on Tuesday.

“They have to be careful,” Smith said. ‘The reason why they have to be careful is because the NBA is having a press conference at 2:00, OK, and well before the game we will know what the repercussions are that have been brought down upon Donald Sterling. So if the league and its owners say, ‘He’s out of here — we’re getting rid of him. We can’t have this association with our league,’ and the players still come out and feel the need to take that kind of position, then there could be a backlash because people could say, ‘Look it’s been dealt with, it’s being handled. What’s your problem now?’”

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Read More: adam silver, donald sterling, NBA, Stephen A. Smith
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