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NBA players, union happy with Silver’s action against Sterling

Apr 29, 2014, 5:14 PM EDT

Adam Silver brought the hammer down on Donald Sterling — and that made the NBA’s players and its union very happy.

“Today, the players believe the commissioner has done his duty,” said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, representing the union, at a press conference in Los Angeles (televised on NBA TV) minutes after Adam Silver’s press conference ended. “On this day Adam Silver is not only the owners’ commissioner, he is also the players’ commissioner, and we’re proud to call him our commissioner.”

It what seemed like more a pep rally than press conference at points, Johnson and a series of former and current players — Steve Nash, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and more — praised Silver for giving Clippers owner Donald Sterling a lifetime ban, fining him $2.5 million and starting a process that will force the sale of the team from his hands.

“Throughout history, sports has played a pivotal role in advancing civil rights — Tommy Smith, John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics. Great leaders like Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Arthur Ashe, Jason Collins and our very own Jackie Robinson,” Johnson said. “I believe that today stands as one of those great moments, where sports once again transcends. Where sports provides a place for fundamental change on how our country should think and act…

“The players spoke, they acted and they were listened to.”

Kobe Bryant put it this way.

In case you thought the union didn’t have any teeth behind its requests, union executive committee member Roger Mason Junior said if Silver had soft-pedaled this there would have been a boycott tonight.

“Additionally I reached out to other players around the league and made it clear that the players were ready to boycott the games if this kind of action was not something Adam Silver felt was necessary,” MasonJr.,. “I’m happy to come here today and say that as players we are very happy with the decision, but we’re not content yet. We want immediate action, we want a timetable form the owners as to when this vote is going to happen, but we feel confident that with Adam Silver’s urging, and obviously we’ve heard from a lot of owners around the league, we think this is something that can be handled quickly.”

MasonJr., the only one who sounded like a union leader on this day, asking for followup.

But in a league that was facing sponsors bolting and a potential player revolt, Adam Silver stood up strong. And the players have his back.

  1. seattlesuperchronic - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    It’s gotta feel good to be Adam Silver right now. He just drop kicked an owner from the NBA and all of his employees love him for it.

    • chunkala - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:46 PM

      And now he faces a long and drawn out legal battle. Bravo, Silverj.
      Now he’ll be dealing with this mess for years Instead of fixing the conferences,flopping, tanking, etc.

  2. casualcommenter - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    “NBA players, union happy with Silver’s action against Sterling”

    I’d hope so. What Silver did was basically the nuclear option.
    Short of personally going up to Donald Sterling and punching repeatedly him in the face, there’s nothing more Silver could have done to punish him, so I’d hope the players are satisfied, haha.

  3. honkerdawg - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    Why doesn’t KJ just run his city he has a hard enough time doing that

    • chunkala - Apr 29, 2014 at 9:47 PM

      He’s only the mayor so he can receive kickbacks.

  4. ksctychiefs - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    i deplore the alledged sterling remarks,and i love lebron,et al …….but if someone like kobe or lebron,or any nba player utters even one racist word ,even taped illegally,it will be an instant ‘banned for life’….on the spot!!……silver just set a ‘new bar’ ,a new standard FOR ALL involved in the nba,which is going to boomerang and come back hard on some nba player(s) as well….fair is fair now…….. the guy should be punished ,hard,but where is protected speech for either side? ……just sayin…….

  5. hwatt - Apr 29, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    well, Silver knew that this would cripple the NBA business from boycotts from players, Doc, and all-important cash cow sponsors. that’s why he came down hard. I wouldn’t call him player-friendly, I’d call him… pragmatic

  6. j0esixpack - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    Gotta wonder if the shoe is ever going to drop on the NAACP

    This guy was a well known racist and any simple Lexis/Nexis search would have revealed the fair housing suits in which he said blacks attract vermin, etc. etc. etc.

    But if you are a wealthy benefactor who contributes to the NAACP, not only do they look the other way at such racism, they honor such a person with a “Lifetime Achievement Award”


    • apmn - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      Well, to be sure, Sterling’s money was helping to advance colored people…the colored people running the NAACP.

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