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With Sterling gone, do sports owners now need to tread carefully?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Mizzougrad96, May 1, 2014.

  1. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I was thrilled Donald Sterling was suspended. I think Adam Silver did an incredible job...

    That said, do you think owners need to be especially careful about political views or views on social situations?

    Would an owner ever get into trouble for coming out against gay marriage? I would be curious how many have given money to anti-gay marriage propositions.

    Most owners in all sports are not known for being ultra-enlightened. I think most are smart enough to not make their views known or not unlucky enough to have someone record you making those views known.
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I think "avoid being an openly racist asshat" is a pretty good bar to set. And I don't think the other stuff is ever going to be part of the so-called slippery slope.

    Remember -- ultimately Silver works for the owners, as do Goodell and Bettman and whoever takes over MLB. They're not going to go out issuing suspensions just because they feel like they can.

    And also, this wouldn't have happened if sponsors hadn't shown the league and the other owners what they were facing. That isn't happening on all those other issues you mention.
  3. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    No, an owner wouldn't get in trouble for coming out against gay marriage, because Rich DeVos of Orlando already has funded efforts to stop it. So did Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward of the Thunder. Of course, they haven't stated in conversations recorded by their gay lovers that they don't want him coming to the games with Jason Collins.

    The bottom line is the bottom line: unless an owner says something that causes sponsors to flee and players to revolt (especially during the playoffs), he or she can support whatever political causes they want or do whatever they do in their personal lives. After all, Sterling just didn't wake up a racist this week.
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Bob has it right. If and when attitudes shift so that a league faces a serious boycott because of an owner who is anti-gay marriage, it will make a difference. When sponsors are fleeing and you are getting a shit storm of negative press because of something an owner did, there is pressure to do something. Otherwise, no.
  5. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    It's extraordinarily unlikely the Sterling situation will ever be approached, let alone duplicated. But I am sure sports team owners will be more aware of the financial implications to their businesses of their social views and are apt to be more circumspect in the future, not out of fear of sanction, but of fear of losing money.
  6. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    I think Sterling's history played a big role in this, and so if another owner doesn't have Sterling's rap sheet, he/she wouldn't be dumped so hastily and with such public support.
  7. Guy_Incognito

    Guy_Incognito Well-Known Member

    I would be shocked if there aren't advocates of gay marriage watching this script and strategizing how to replicate it. Why wouldn't they?
  8. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    You can't conjure up public opinion. It's either there or it isn't. "Advocates" for something didn't create a reaction to the Donald Sterling tape. Organic public sentiment did. Our country has progressed to the point that racial attitudes like the ones people heard on that tape provoke mass outrage. The reaction wasn't manufactured.
  9. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Owners will take care of each other. Apparently, they don't mind jettisoning Sterling from the club (although it remains to be seen how easy this is or on what terms it will be done). But understand that each of these owners takes that vote very seriously because they know it could be any one of them in the future. My guess is this will be engineered in a way that Sterling will have a relatively soft landing.
  10. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    cran, What do you mean by a soft landing?
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I wonder what would happen if there was a similar recording of an owner making derogatory comments about gays or another religion.

    I tend to think Sterling was a perfect storm of having a long, documented history of racism, combined with the recording which was the last straw.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Oh, I don't think Sterling will have anything resembling a soft landing unless you're referring to him making a truckload of money on the sale.
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