Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Responding to Bad Behavior in Professional Sports

clippers-warriors-sterling-players-basketball.jpg
Marcio Jose Sanchez
/
AP

After racist remarks from L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling were published online, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life from the NBA and fined him $2.5 million.

Veteran AP sports editor and journalist John Affleck, a Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Penn State talked about how far sports leagues should go to clean up bad behavior, not only by owners, but coaches and players.

“I do think there's an issue of how far is too far and what constitutes something that's said privately or is perhaps not in anyway meant to be in an offensive manner. But the examples that we have seen are so extreme that they sort of demand action. And I do think that one thing that really is a driving force in all of this, in all of these controversies, is simply money,"Affleck explained.

"It was pointed out well before these incidents that Sterling had a history of discrimination. That he had a history of bigotry, but nothing was really done about it."

The real difference this time, according to Affleck,

"The timing of this tape release (also the fact that it was so incredibly long and he went on in such length) but the timing of this in the playoffs and the player reaction partially drove the league's response. I mean you had a situation where the Golden State Warriors, which was the team that were playing Sterling's Clippers in the playoffs, were ready to walk off the court in a protest. If you blow up the NBA Playoffs that has enormous financial and brand consequences for the NBA and so they simply have to respond."

To make informed decisions, the public must receive unbiased truth.

As Southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent public radio news and information station, we give voice to provocative ideas that foster a vibrant, informed, diverse and caring community.

WESA is primarily funded by listener contributions. Your financial support comes with no strings attached. It is free from commercial or political influence…that’s what makes WESA a free vital community resource. Your support funds important local journalism by WESA and NPR national reporters.

You give what you can, and you get news you can trust.
Please give now to continue providing fact-based journalism — a monthly gift of just $5 or $10 makes a big difference.