Donald Sterling Won't Pay Fine, Wants to Sue the NBA, Is Terrible At Apologizing

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 05: Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling stands on the sidelines before the game with the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 5, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers won 87-86 to take a two games to one lead in the series. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Source: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Further extending his proverbial middle finger to the world, banned L.A. Clipper's owner Donald Sterling won't pay the $2.5 million fine as part of his punishment for his racist remarks and is now threatening to sue the NBA, according to reports. What a way to give an apology, but what else did we really expect? It's clear he's not going down without a fight; apparently he's hired prominent antitrust lawyer Maxwell Blecher who informed the league of Sterling's demands. 

Sterling's been digging himself deeper into a hole since a leaked recording surfaced of his racist rant, even criticizing Magic Johnson's HIV diagnosis. In an interview with Anderson Cooper, the team owner explained he made "a terrible, terrible mistake" and issued an apology for the world to hear. Or so we thought — because a new letter from his lawyer reportedly claims that Sterling has done nothing wrong and that "no punishment is warranted," according to Sports Illustrated

The $2.4 million fine slapped on Sterling by NBA commissioner Adam Silver in April was supposed to be due this week, but Blecher's note says “We reject your demand for payment." So what basis do they really have? Sterling hasn't violated any article of the NBA's constitution, the letter explains, and his "due process rights" weren't met. 

On the surface, a "violation" of his rights could be an arguable reason since the NBA banned him without any formal proceedings and just a four-day investigation — but the organization is also a private association that doesn't require the provision of due process rights. Perhaps Sterling's just grasping at straws here, since Silver's adamantly pushing for other owners to force a sale of the Clippers.

 Still, based on NBA bylaws, Sterling's team ownership could be terminated if he doesn't pay up within 30 days of written notice from the commissioner. 

Let's just face it: you just can't go on a racist rant, say "sorry" on national television, and wipe your hands clean of the whole deal. Everyone's got to face repercussions here, even rich, entitled old men. 

"I'm a good member who made a mistake," he told CNN. "Am I entitled to one mistake, am I after 35 years? I mean, I love my league, I love my partners. Am I entitled to one mistake? It's a terrible mistake, and I'll never do it again."

Except he wasn't just racist that one time. Not by a long shot, as it turns out.


Must Reads