First of all, A+++++++ work on whoever put this internet portrait together. Absolutely spot on. While I was watching the press conference yesterday I was desperately trying to figure out who Silver reminded me of and this is 1,000% it. Silver and the American Gothic bro are like Luke and Butch Bushwacker. Nailed it .
Now that aside how about Adam Silver going full Vinnie Mac yesterday?! Banning Donald Sterling for life like he was Joe banning Kramer from his fruit stand. Gotta say I expected a more tepid response but this was a big time power move and even if you don't agree with it you've got to respect the balls it took to make that call in less than 72 hours. Silver looked and sounded like Ivan Drago yesterday. 'If he dies, he dies' type stuff.
With all that said the one thing you saw from folks defending Sterling (not necessarily what he said but the circumstances of the case) was 'freedom of speech, whatever happened to freedom of speech!' First of all, as it pertains to the Bill of Rights 'freedom of speech' at it's core was implemented so people could speak out against their government without fear of reprisal, practice religion, etc. (not sure the 'etc' is how it's written officially but I'm paraphrasing in a world that operates at 160 characters or less). And in that regard, you can absolutely say whatever you want no matter how racist or vile. Donald Sterling isn't on trial with the U.S. government. He isn't under arrest. So he does have his freedom of speech. BUT as anyone who has ever worked for a company would acknowledge, most businesses also have rules and regulations they expect their employees to adhere to. And if you don't, there's a strong chance you'll get suspended, fined, or fired. Doesn't matter if you work for the NBA, Midwest Communications, Wal-Mart, Strange Brew*, whatever. I can't go on the air and swear up a storm all day and expect to have 'freedom of speech' bail me out of getting fired. They're not going to sit me down in the bathroom with soap in my mouth and give me a stern talking to, they're going to can me. And in the same sense the NBA has specific guidelines in place that if you hurt their image or their bottom line, you are subject to the same punishment Sterling received yesterday.
Now if you want to make the argument that he made those comments in the privacy of his own home, he didn't know it was recorded yada yada yada then there probably is a legit avenue of recourse for him against the girl who recorded him. California has a double consent law so when you record someone, both parties have to know that it's happening. So he could definitely take V. Stiviano to court if he wasn't aware of the recording. But that doesn't exempt him from punishment from the league. The NBA isn't going to say 'welp he didn't know it was recorded so what can we do?!' It's not for the NBA to figure out how a private conversation became public, that's Sterling's problem. Here's an idea, maybe as an 81 year old man WITH A WIFE you shouldn't also have a money hungry girlfriend/prostitute. One who has already tried to extort money from him once by the way. Sometimes the company you keep can bite you in the ass. But if you don't want to risk things like this getting out I think a decent workaround might be to lay low.
*Here at Strange Brew we have a constitution that is loosely modeled on a combination of John Adam's Sedition Act and the cake section of Betty Crocker's Cookbook.
PS: How about this blog baby! Bill of Rights, John Adams and double consent all mixed together with Seinfeld and Christmas Story references. There might even have been a thesis statement in there! Today I didn't totally waste me internet space. Which ironically makes this a terrible blog.
Double PS: One AWESOME thing about this story are the comment sections. I saw this comment on the Milwaukee Bucks FB page in references to the Silver story. Hey Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry, I found your new GM!