Area basketball coaches shared a common opinion Tuesday: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver got it right.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was caught on tape making horrific racial slurs against African-Americans.
Silver banned Sterling from the NBA for life and levied a $2.5 million fine, the maximum dollar amount allowed by NBA bylaws.
“I think Silver made the right decision,” said Copperas Cove boys head coach Billy White Jr. “It was despicable what Sterling said on those tapes.”
Silver also announced in a news conference carried worldwide that he would press the rest of the NBA owners to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.
“The Sterling family will probably put up a fight about selling the team,” White said. “But the commissioner putting on the pressure to make him sell is the absolute correct thing to do.”
As for Sterling, White said, “He’s a hypocrite. The majority of the league is made up of African-Americans, and Sterling is making millions and billions off his players. None of those fans are paying money to go watch him. Sterling does not deserve to be an owner. He does not deserve to be in the position he’s in.”
Silver became commissioner of the league on Feb. 1.
“I thought Silver handled this all very well, especially being so new to the position,” White said. “He handled things quick. He didn’t let this drag on. For now, I think the fans are behind him.”
Killeen girls head coach Latisha Williams and Harker Heights boys head coach Celneque Bobbitt also applauded Silver’s decision.
“Silver made a statement that intolerance of other people will not be accepted,” Williams said. “I’m certainly fine with Silver’s decision. You can’t get away with talking down about different ethnicities. The NBA made a statement today.”
“There are no winners with this,” Bobbitt said. “This owner made so many bad statements so something had to be done. But this commissioner was stern, decisive and he stood up. This commissioner made it clear he won’t be putting up with such nonsense.”
Copperas Cove girls head coach Eldridge McAdams said, “There’s no room in our country for the words Sterling used. We’re trying to come together, we’re trying to unite.
“People of all shades of colors participate in sports. So I think this commissioner did what he had to do. He also had to keep the revenue support flowing into the league from the sponsors. When it’s all said and done, this commissioner did the right thing. Some will say that this owner can say whatever he wants while others will say there’s no time or place for racial hatred like that.
“The bottom line is this: People will respect the commissioner for what he did.”