I don’t think I’m asking this as a rhetorical question, or necessarily as a specific one, but more in the sense of taking a crack at the oligarchy-replaces-democracy meme in Western culture.
Like NBA players, Mr Sterling has money. Unlike NBA players, when owners are accused of bad behavior, they don’t go the usual punishment-appeal-final decision route. The new NBA commish knows who 1/30 of his boss is. Adam Silver cited here:
All members of the NBA family should be afforded due process and a fair opportunity to present their side of any controversy. The core of the investigation is understanding whether the tape is authentic, interviewing Mr. Sterling and interviewing the woman as well and understanding the context in which it was recorded.
As for the oligarchy bit, I have worries about that, of course. I think that stupidity, especially moneyed stupidity, eventually peters out.
As for the role of “owners” in sport–they seem to me to be as useful as a fourth outfielder, or a third referee. Teams are more solidly “owned” by fans. They can be stolen by business interests, forced to move or end operations. People can let them have power, but the whole thing is tragic and often comical.
I’d like to see how Mr Silver handles the next misbehavior suspension of one of this players–the ones who are most definitely not 1/360th of his boss.
When is comes to players, unionize whenever and whatever you can. Even if you’re in college, rah rah. If you’re cheerleaders, watch out complaining about those jiggle tests–they’ll shut you down every time.
Can owners be disciplined? Who knows? Who cares? Give them microphones and let ’em talk. As for the Clippers, they don’t have enough cultural cred to matter. The team could disappear, and who remembers that they were ever once the Buffalo Braves?
As for the new commissioner of the NBA, we have an early assessment of his priorities, that’s for sure.