In 1996, Bud Selig, the Commissioner of Baseball, banned then-Cincinnati Red owner Marge Schott for a year for repeatedly making racist and homophobic comments in the media, and for making pro-Hitler statements.
Schott was reinstated after a year, but was pressured to, and eventually sold the Reds in 1999.
She is the only person in Major League Baseball history to be banned solely for disparaging remarks made away from the game of baseball.
Donald Sterling's comments and views, unlike Schott's have everything to do with the game of basketball.
The NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been running the league for about three months, and while his position is permanent, there are similarities between he and Selig at the timing of this because of the transitional moment.
Selig, who was previously the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, was just the acting commissioner when he made the decision, and it created a legacy of baseball denouncing intolerance.
Silver now has that opportunity, and he must rise to the moment.
This is a chance for the league with the highest percentage of African-American players to make a statement about what will and will not be tolerated in corporate America.
Silver mus wield his powers of suspension and remove Sterling from the game for as long as possible, and this would have wide support throughout the league, and the legions of NBA fans throughout the world.
This alone will not be enough to erase him from the game, as the other 29 owners must stand up and say they do not want Sterling in the league.
These are the only ways the NBA can begin to recover from this incident, and I hope that Commissioner Silver is prepared to begin his tenure by making a serious stand against racism at the top of the NBA.
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