The outspoken Dallas Mavericks' owner says forcing the Clippers' owner out of the NBA would open "a slippery slope."
Mark Cuban thinks Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s alleged racist remarks are disgusting. Yet, the outspoken Dallas Mavericks' owner says a potential scenario of forcing Sterling to sell the team because of his comments would open up “a slippery slope,” one that the NBA should be careful about.
"I think there's a [league] constitution for a reason, right?" Cuban told reporters before his Mavericks fell to the San Antonio Spurs 93-89 in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series on Monday. "Because this is a very slippery slope. What Donald said was wrong. It was abhorrent. There's no place for racism in the NBA, any business I'm associated with, and I don't want to be associated with people who have that position.
"But at the same time, that's a decision I make,” Cuban continued. “I think you've got to be very, very careful when you start making blanket statements about what people say and think, as opposed to what they do. It's a very, very slippery slope. Again, there's no excuse for his positions. There's no excuse for what he said. There's no excuse for anybody to support racism. There's no place for it in our league, but there's a very, very, very slippery slope.
“If it’s about racism and we’re ready to kick people out of the league, OK?" he added. "Then what about homophobia? What about somebody who doesn’t like a particular religion. What about somebody who’s anti-Semitic? What about a xenophobe?"
NBA commissioner Adam Silver will be announcing the league’s decision on possible sanctions or a suspension against Sterling during a Tuesday press conference.
Other NBA franchise owners have sounded off on Sterling as well. Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander told the Houston Chronicle that he wants Sterling to be forced out the league and actually suggested to Silver that all of the Clippers’ players be allowed to become free agents after this season.
"This kind of behavior can't be allowed in the NBA by owners, players or anybody," Alexander told the Chronicle. "This guy has no place in the family of the NBA. Whatever it takes, we have to make sure this kind of event never happens again."
On Saturday, a recorded conversation allegedly between Sterling and his then-girlfriend, V. Stiviano, hit the Internet. During the audio, the man believed to be Sterling tells Stiviano, "Don't bring black people to [Clippers' games]" among other horrid, racially charged verbal attacks against African-Americans.
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(Photos from Left: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images, Robert Mora/Getty Images)