If you wanted the NBA players to boycott playing in games due to Donald Sterling’s bigotry, there is some good news for you. ABC News reports there was a plan in place for all players to boycott had Sterling not received the maximum allowable penalty from the league.
The shows of solidarity throughout the week from players, including black socks and accessories as well as inside out warm-up shirts and dumped team apparel at center court, were generally tame but altogether appreciated. The proposed league wide boycott, however, would have definitely been more dramatic and hit the league where it hurts most: in the pockets.
To take matters a step further, the Clippers’ opponent, the Golden State Warriors, had an even more dramatic protest planned. According to Marcus Thompson of the Mercury News, the Warriors had planned to go through the entire pre-game process, take the court and simply walk away as the ball went into the air for the tip off. It was the team’s hope that the Clippers would have participated, but Golden State was prepared to go along with the boycott either way.
Following in the footsteps of the NBA players involved with the 1964 All Star Game would have been powerful, but in many ways showing patience and allowing the NBA and commissioner David Silver to do his due diligence showed more resolve. In the end, this wasn’t about hurting the league. It was about punishing the offender, and that’s exactly what commissioner Adam Silver did today.
It was good to see the NBA get it right, but as a fan and a minority myself, it’s also good to see that the players were willing to stand up for their rights, and make an impact in taking a stand against Sterling’s bigotry as well.