Donald Sterling's racist outburst

14 Cards

CURATED BY Matthew Yglesias

2014-04-29 23:58:26 -0400

  1. Who's Donald Sterling? Why is he in the news?
  2. What did Sterling say, exactly?
  3. What are some of the past accusations against Sterling?
  4. Is Donald Sterling any good as an owner?
  5. What did President Obama say about Donald Sterling?
  6. What's the Players' Association doing about this?
  7. How are NBA corporate sponsors reacting?
  8. What are Sterling's fellow owners saying?
  9. How have the Clippers players responded?
  10. How is the sports media responding?
  11. What's the NBA doing about this?
  12. How big is the NBA fine compared to Sterling's net worth?
  13. Is Donald Sterling a Democrat or a Republican?
  14. Wait, Donald Sterling was going to get a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP?
  1. Card 1 of 14

    Who's Donald Sterling? Why is he in the news?

  2. Card 2 of 14

    What did Sterling say, exactly?

  3. Card 3 of 14

    What are some of the past accusations against Sterling?

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    Sterling (right) and former NBA commissioner David Stern (center) present a "Putin" Clippers jersey to Russian defense minister Sergei Ivanov during a 2006 exhibition game in Moscow. Copyright 2006 NBAE (Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Sterling has been accused of a huge range of atrocious behaviors, from racist rental practices for his Los Angeles area apartments to sexual harassment of his employees. He's privately settled many of these cases and admitted nothing, but between court depositions and public accusations, there's a lot to go on.

    Here's a brief overview:

    Housing discrimination

    In 2004, Sterling was sued by the Los Angeles Housing Rights Center for discriminatory rental practices. After buying the Ardmore Apartments complex, he attempted to force out minority tenants by refusing to do repairs and refusing rent checks, then accusing them of nonpayment. When told that a 66-year-old, legally blind, partially paralyzed tenant named Kandynce Jones wanted to be reimbursed for the damage to her flooded apartment, he reportedly said, "Just evict the bitch."

    The case brought by the Housing Rights Center was eventually settled for an undisclosed sum. The plaintiffs were reimbursed $4.9 million for their legal fees, and the judge described the total judgement as one of the largest ever in a discriminatory housing case.

    In 2006, Sterling was sued by the Department of Justice after he allegedly refused to rent to Mexican-Americans and African-Americans in his apartment complexes, reportedly saying that "Black tenants smell and attract vermin." Sterling paid $2.73 million to settle the suit.

    Employment discrimination

    In 2009, former Clippers general manager and Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor sued Sterling for wrongful termination on the basis of age and race. Baylor alleged that for years before his 2008 resignation, Sterling had frozen his salary at $350,000 per year for racial reasons (compared to $5.5 million per year for Mike Dunleavy, the white head coach).

    He also alleged that Sterling had a "pervasive and ongoing racist attitude" while negotiating with African-American players, once telling Baylor that he wanted a team made up of "poor black boys from the South and a white head coach." Baylor eventually dropped the race-related accusations from the case, and a jury eventually ruled in the favor of Sterling in 2011.

    Sexual harassment

    Sterling is known for hiring dozens of female hostesses for his parties and charity events, reaching them through full-page newspaper advertisements like this one:

    Wanted_females_sterlingad

    In several cases, some of the women later sued Sterling for sexual harassment.

    In a 1996 suit, Christine Jaksy alleged that he touched her inappropriately and demanded that she visit friends of his to provide sexual favors. He also asked her to find him a massage therapist, saying, "I want someone who will, you know, let me put it in or who [will] suck on it." Jaksy and Sterling eventually reached a confidential settlement.

    In 2003, Sterling himself sued a former employee and mistress named Alexandra Castro over the possession of a Beverly Hills house. The pair reached a confidential settlement, but Sterling's comments under oath as part of the deposition are worth noting: among other things, he explained that "When you pay a woman for sex, you are not together with her...you're paying her for a few moments to use her body for sex. Is it clear?"

    — by Joseph Stromberg

  4. Card 4 of 14

    Is Donald Sterling any good as an owner?

  5. Card 5 of 14

    What did President Obama say about Donald Sterling?

  6. Card 6 of 14

    What's the Players' Association doing about this?

  7. Card 7 of 14

    How are NBA corporate sponsors reacting?

  8. Card 8 of 14

    What are Sterling's fellow owners saying?

  9. Card 9 of 14

    How have the Clippers players responded?

  10. Card 10 of 14

    How is the sports media responding?

  11. Card 11 of 14

    What's the NBA doing about this?

  12. Card 12 of 14

    How big is the NBA fine compared to Sterling's net worth?

  13. Card 13 of 14

    Is Donald Sterling a Democrat or a Republican?

  14. Card 14 of 14

    Wait, Donald Sterling was going to get a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP?

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