Sunday, April 27, 2014

LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling stuns sports world with racist remarks, but was this a private conversation he didn't know was being recorded?

A conversation between Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his girl friend, in which he makes what sound like racist remarks, is creating a furor in the media Sunday.
CNN has a link here  Don Lemon is covering the issue Sunday afternoon.

The recording seems to have been made during a private conversation. Did he know that she was recording the encounter? 

However, Sterling, 80. asked his girl friend to remove pictures showing her association with African Americans from her Instagam feed, from social media.

Sterling claimed that she could love “them” privately but not announce her associations “publicly”, because of the way “the world is”.  He said she had made enemies with the posts.
Sterling also claimed he paid “them” and gave “them” cars and houses, like he saw them as a commodity.

Legal observers note that the NBA is likely to strip away the ownership of the Clippers away from Sterling. 
CNN reports that California is a 2-party state.  If she did not tell Sterling she was was recording the conversation, she could face prosecution, but the remarks still could be used in a lawsuit.  

Update: April 30

It is reported that Sterling knew about the taping and had consented to it, but then tried to keep it a secret. The woman's lawyer says that the taping was legal.

And (above) here it is, in large part.

This incident reminds me of the Don Imus scandal in 2007 (the remark about "nappy headed hos"), discussed here April 14, 2007.  This is related to what I have called "implicit content".

Update: May 2

Jeffrey Toobin weighs in on the legal questions, as does an article that says the taping was legal if Sterling knew about it, link here

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