I’m sure by now you’ve heard the news about Clippers owner Donald Sterling making some inappropriate and racist remarks that were caught on tape. On Saturday, a statement was released by Clippers president Andy Roesner on behalf of Sterling and the organization. “We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered,” Roeser stated. “We do know that the woman on the tape — who we believe released it to TMZ — is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would ‘get even.'”
A little bit of background on Sterling’s ownership: He acquire the Clippers in 1981 for $12.5 million, and as of 2014, the team is valued at $575 million by Forbes magazine, ranking them 18th out of 30 teams. At 33 seasons of ownership (1981 to present), Sterling has been the longest-tenured owner in the NBA since the death of Los Angeles Lakers majority owner Jerry Buss on February 18, 2013.
No matter what your statement is to TMZ, you know when they come a calling, it usually isn’t for positive or constructive reasons. Here’s a look at how to blow up your personal and your team’s brand in 7 easy steps.
1) Act like a complete idiot and make racists comments. Happen to forget what happened to Paula Deen or Jimmy the Greek? This incident isn’t even his first! Sterling has a bad reputation for racism. In 2005, he settled a lawsuit that accused him of discriminating against black and Hispanic tenants. In 2006, he was sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for another housing discrimination lawsuit. Then again in 2009 he paid out $2.7 million for yet again, a housing discrimination lawsuit.
2) Cheat on your wife of 50 years, with whom you have 3 children, in a very public fashion. Did you forget you’re a very public NBA owner? Sterling’s mistress of the last 4 years, V. Stiviano has been lavished with gifts such as 2 Bentleys, a Range Rover, $250,000 spending money and $1.8 million for the purchase of an L.A. apartment; all of which she broadcasts on her Instagram account.
3) Instead of apologizing, falling on your sword and accepting responsibility for being a complete idiot, question why you’re on TMZ in the first place. Oh ya trying to deny a TMZ or 60 Minutes report seems to always work, right Lance Armstrong?
4) In a league where the teams, including your own, are predominately African American, making disparaging comments about one of the greatest African American athletes of all time is bound to get you in hot water. You might as well slam President Obama and the Pope while you’re at it!
5) Buy your way to another NAACP lifetime achievement award. In 2009, Sterling was given the award by the NAACP Los Angeles chapter after donating to the fund for a number of years. The NAACP was planning to present another reward in May before the controversy that erupted in the last few weeks. They have since stated they will give back the most recent donation. “It’s an insignificant amount of money, and we’re going to return it,” said NAACP L.A. chapter’s President, Leon Jenkins.
6) Disgrace the NBA, your team the Clippers and your wife, family and children. Wow that’s classy, forget about another sports celebrity making headlines, Marv Albert ring a bell?
7) Date someone you’re almost 50 years older than, but I’m sure it’s not about the money! Right Anna Nicole Smith?
Everyone makes mistakes, but Brand Champions admit their mistakes, fall on their swords to protect their family, company, employees, much less an entire league! When Brand Champions make mistakes, they don’t act like Brand Chumps and make a complete mockery of their brand and reputation!
Donald, it’s long past time to be put out to pasture and shown the fool you really are!
Update: Sterling banned from NBA for life, fined $2.5 million, and may be forced to sell the Clippers.