NEW YORK, NY — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday tasked league owners with stripping disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling of his right to maintain control and legal ownership of the franchise. By announcing a lifetime ban for Sterling, Silver put the ball firmly in the court of the 80-year-old real estate developer’s fellow owners, a group made up almost entirely of aging, wealthy Caucasian men who must now vote on whether or not to force Sterling to sell the team he has owned since 1981.
“This is going to be a groundbreaking moment for aging Caucasian American males of considerable means,” New York Knicks owner and affluent white man James Dolan said upon learning of Silver’s ruling. “It’s not very often in this country that well-to-do white men who wield considerable power and influence get to set such meaningful social precedents, and I expect each of my fellow owners to approach this opportunity with the utmost respect for the process.”
Silver’s decision came in response to a recording leaked to the gossip website TMZ over the weekend that featured a man believed to be Sterling making a series of racist and derisive comments about African-Americans. Silver, himself a wealthy middle-aged Caucasian male and scion of a prosperous New York family, drew near universal praise for calling on a group of well-heeled white men to set an example the rest of the country, if not the world, can follow when forced to combat the evils of bigotry.
“I can’t think of a group of people better suited to confront racism head-on than roughly three dozen aging white men whose collective net worth is in the billions of dollars,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said on Tuesday. “It’s during difficult times like these last 72 hours that we need to lean on exorbitantly wealthy white men over 50, who historically have done so much to advance African-Americans and other minority groups, to lead by example and do what needs to be done.”
Those sentiments were echoed by those in the Native American community, where many leaders cite their own forthright dealings with moneyed men from families of European origin as evidence that white men can be trusted to do the right thing instead of selfishly protecting their own interests without regard for the potentially devastating impact their actions may have on minority groups for generations to come.
“This could not have been an easy decision for Commissioner Silver to make,” said Native American actor Wes Studi. “But I applaud his willingness to cast his lot with a group that, since the beginning of time, has done nothing to suggest its point of view might be skewed and judgment compromised by its history of unbridled privilege and sense of entitlement.”
Studi cites the Native American community’s oft-public discourse with Washington Redskins owner and comfortable middle-aged white man Daniel Snyder as proof that upper class Caucasian men can empathize with the plight of minorities and are fully capable of recognizing the negative impact that racially charged words can have on minorities and the communities in which they live.
“Daniel Snyder is proof positive that Commissioner Silver’s decision to let Donald Sterling’s fellow light-skinned men of means ultimately decide his fate is going to work out,” said Studi. “One Dan Snyder can only do so much to impact the lives of minorities. But think of what 30 Dan Snyders could do.”