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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 8/12/14

Powerful force brings down Sterling after high-powered men failed

Note: You can delete wussy in the fourth graph; this column was written in April and probably viewed by 10 people for

a website my friend's son was trying to start; I wrote it as a favor. However, the version you see below is updated with

Tuesday's news and has not been posted anywhere but on my new website, www.shanahanreport.com


By Tom Shanahan

Bravo, V. Stiviano -- or whatever your real name is -- for bringing down Donald T. Sterling, who finally is now identified as the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

She did to Sterling what he has done throughout his adult life -- screw people. By exposing Sterling for the despicable person he has been for so long, she forced him, through the Sterling Trust and with an assist from his estranged wife Shelly, to forfeit ownership of his NBA team.

Many men -- NBA officials, lawyers and sportswriters churning out columns ridiculing Sterling four decades running -- have tried with forthright measures to humiliate Sterling into disappearing. To a man, they all failed to prevent him from ignoring them; he smugly flaunted his wealth and power on the NBA stage.

It took the most powerful force in the universe (rhymes with wussy) to separate Sterling from his team.

It took a woman -- no matter what we think of her -- to ensure the first sentence in Sterling's obituary will label him a bigot.

The municipality of San Diego tried to point out Sterling's sins when he bought the team in 1981 and deliberately ran it into the ground to make the claim lack of fan support so he could move the team to Los Angeles in 1984. The city failed, but thanks to Stiviano, the world -- this is a global sport -- now understands Sterling is a snake.

She has accomplished more than NBA lawyers that failed to enforce a $25 million fine levied against Sterling for moving the team to L.A. Sterling and his fellow snakes for lawyers beat the NBA, forcing them to settle for a $6 million fine.

She successfully managed to have Sterling widely labeled a racist, something the federal government failed to convey nationally when it forced Sterling to pay $2.7 million in penalties as a settlement for discriminatory housing practices.

She forced the NBA to acknowledge it had coddled Sterling as if he was a crazy 81-year-old uncle locked in a closet rather than recognize the federal government had revealed him to be a racist. No matter what the NBA says, it lumped together Sterling's past transgressions that failed to resonate with the public. They hoped the story would go away, and the media complied.

Sometimes the American public has to be hit over the head with a 2-by-4 this size of a telephone pole; this is one of those times.

The results of her actions led the NAACP to withdraw its plans to present Sterling with a "second" lifetime achievement award that he had bought with donations when the controversy erupted last spring.

The ramifications had Sterling banned from those courtside seats where he sat smugly in the elegant Staples Center. If I was NBA commissioner Adam Silver during the NBA playoffs, I would have had Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan -- accompanied by under-privileged students of all colors -- take up Sterling's courtside seats.

Stiviano prompted Republicans and Democratic politicians to agree on something -- Sterling is a racist. Remember, some of those same Republicans have spewed outrageous slurs against our President merely because he's black.

Sterling doesn't do interviews -- after watching him embarrass himself on CNN with Anderson Cooper, we understand why -- but Stiviano duped Sterling into what President Obama explained was a sure-fire way for a person to reveal his true nature: Let him talk. Obama responded to reports of Sterling's comments by saying, "When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything. You just let them talk. And that's what happened here."

She turned Donald Sterling into a stronger synonym for bigot than Archie Bunker (the audience enjoyed the humor despite Bunker's racist heart; there's nothing funny about Sterling).

Some people point out that Stiviano is a gold digger. They allege she surreptitiously made public a tape of a private conversation.

And their point is?

I don't recall being part of a private conversation with someone uttering Sterling's vile words. And I don't recall being a in a circle of friends who would allow the conversation to continue and or subsequently protect such a person by sweeping their words under the rug. What kind of people would point to such a defense of Sterling to absolve him of his racist heart? Maybe people who think the same way as him.

I acknowledge saying things I regret, but nothing approaching Sterling's scale of bigotry. I may end up having to apologizing for something I said, but I won't be forced to sell my property.

As Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report pointed out, social media propelled the Sterling story viral and generated the response that led to his demise.

Maybe if social media had been around when Sterling bought the San Diego Clippers in 1981, it would have pushed Sterling's previous transgressions into public debate and spared us this sobering 2014 comment on racism in America.

She may be the lesser of two devils, but I still say, "Bravo, V. Stiviano

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Tom Shanahan is an award-winning sportswriter honored by the National Football Foundation/San Diego Chapter, USA Track and Field/San Diego Chapter, San Diego Press Club and Copley Press as the former owner of a chain that included the San Diego (more...)
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Powerful force brings down Sterling after high-powered men failed

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