Author Joyce Carol Oates makes a living writing what she feels. She has denounced Donald Sterling’s racism, but she’s also concerned about what his lifetime NBA ban means for the future of self-expression in America:



Twitchy coverage of Joyce Carol Oates

Twitchy coverage of the Donald Sterling controversy

  • Weswieann

    Up next: End of free thought.

    • Stephen L. Hall #NonquamTrump

      I knew there was a problem with this . . . my thoughts keep charging me commissions.

    • Aitch748

      Yeah. “First Amendment”? Pfft. That’s so 2008. Toppling high-ranking business people and kicking people out of jobs over “racism” and “gay-bashing” is the wave of the future, baby!

      Seriously, I never want to hear any liberal, leftist, or progressive lecturing anybody about free speech ever again.

    • CVN65

      That’s already happened. Look at the lists of banned words and phrases and the attempts to link anything espoused by the right- freedom, liberty, equality, small government, tax cuts- with racism. It is a never-ending effort by the left and their water carriers in the media to assign bad intentions to everyone on the right and the best of intentions to those on the left. They tell us what is to offend us and what is little more than a misunderstanding. Or try to.

  • Ghee!

    In other words… She was for it before she was against it.

    • FreedomRecon

      They never get it….encroaching on liberties for some eventually leads to encroachment on all liberties for all.

      • Humanary Stew

        And yet they continue to insist they are incredibly smart and we are uneducated rubes.

        • FreedomRecon

          They are the smart ones…just ask ’em…they’ll tell ya.

  • Chuck Finley Cracka®

    I am beyond shocked that I agree with her.

    • Emily B

      What is happening?!

      • BlahBlah

        I’m just guessing some people started to realize that they could be next.

        • Maxx

          Indeed. I feel like I am in the minority here but I disagree with the extent of the “penalty.” Silver used an illegally taped conversation to fine someone for being stupid and expressing a thought, obviously one born of ignorance but nonetheless, a thought….NOT AN ACTION.

          Big difference and one hell of a slippery slope to reach into people’s pockets when you don’t agree with their musings. It’s not “free speech” when each time someone puts their foot in their mouth, they’re forced to remove a golden slipper.

          Nobody held a gun to Doc Rivers head to manage the Clippers and yet he acts “shocked” at the owner’s ramblings?

          Not believing it for one second.

          And another thing. Democrats were outraged when a photographer didn’t want to photograph a gay wedding. Said his opinion about gays shouldn’t matter. Well, turn that coin on its other side. Why penalize Sterling for HIS opinions? It shouldn’t matter, right? It’s not like he’s fielding a team of all whites, coached entirely be a white coaching staff. He said something ignorant and disgusting but isn’t this the same man who was preparing to receive his SECOND NAACP award?

          Penalize actions, not thoughts.

          • GrindingMills

            I think this was somewhat of a special circumstance for the NBA, and they had to act. If Sterling’s comments didn’t make it to TMZ, I’m sure they wouldn’t have done nothing, but the fact of the matter is that they became very public, very fast.

            Sterling’s comments would have had a HUGE negative effect on the league and the 29 other owners. The owners, if they so choose, have every right to remove Sterling per the rules of the NBA, especially in light of the fact it would have a negative impact on the values of their teams from lost sponsorship money. Additionally, the NBAPA has claimed that they would have boycotted all games until Sterling was removed, which could have really been an issue for fans, TV rights holders, advertisers, and owners who would have had to refund the tickets.

            I understand the slippery slope argument of removing an owner from the league for private comments, but is identify more with the 29 other ownership groups, who shouldn’t be penalized. They really have no other option than to remove Sterling from the league.

            I think the biggest difference between Sterling and the photographer is that Sterling has 29 other partners who all have teams that are worth over $550m each. They can’t afford to lose revenue.

          • aztectrumpet

            I agree with your point about the fine, but for the reasons GrindingMills gave, they have to vote Sterling out.

            The “girlfriend” should be prosecuted to discourage other private conversations from being leaked also. This one is out in the public now and people won’t forget it.

        • LegalizeShemp

          yep, they see the PC police kicking down their doors soon for not genuflecting to liberal Democrat doxy.

          • Eric

            They need to find a way to address the situation within the NBA’s actual charter and rules. Did Sterling say anything that actually broke NBA rules or guidelines? I don’t think so.

            However, some NBA sponsers have asked that their ads not be displayed at Clipper home games. Silver can honor those wishes and withdraw that portion of revenue from Sterling. If more sponsors drop support, Clipper revenue drops and Sterling may well wish to sell the team.

            Handling things in this way doesn’t bow to the PC police.

    • Finrod Felagund

      Indeed. There aren’t a lot of them left, but those left of center that still have honor and principles are starting to speak out about this. Yesterday Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spoke out as well. We should applaud and encourage this even if we disagree with them on every other issue out there.

    • Frustrated Teacher

      This already bizarre day (I AM a teacher) just got a lot more bizarre as I also agree with this loony.

    • j p✓ʳᵉᶠʳᶦᵉᵈ

      If a stopped clock says it is twelve o’clock at midnight I’m not going to call it wrong.
      Just imagine if people could face the same persecution if they insulted people on the conservative side of the aisle. Cher would be broke with all of her Teabagger slander and Comedy Central would probably go off the air.

    • Jimni27

      Seriously! How can a woman so wrong about just about everything be so spot on about this? I know, I know, blind squirrel, nut….but STILL!

  • Emily B

    In the past couple of days I have agreed with both Bill Maher and, now, Joyce Carol Oates. Congratulations, Universe. You win.

    • BlahBlah

      Don’t look now but there’s a black hole behind you.

      • QueenB

        Maybe while Emily is in that black hole, she can find that missing plane. Be sure to call CNN Emily! lol

        • Emily B


    • LegalizeShemp

      Even they are realizing the left is over-reaching and becoming fascistic, you’re agreeing with their civil libertarian side.

      • Ms. Abigail van Beagle

        I expect that they’ll “come to their senses” shortly and step back into line. If they were going to have any real insight, it should have happened a long time ago.

    • RblDiver

      Proving the universe is spherical, every now and then they go so far left they come out right? …Too bad it probably won’t last, would be nice if common sense would sometimes spontaneously be created.

      • Stephen L. Hall #NonquamTrump

        But every time they come out on that side they look around dazed and confused then run screaming for help.

    • BatCat

      Upside down world strikes again!!!

  • BlahBlah

    Yeah and where were you in 2008? In more recent times, where were you when Eich got the feather and tar action?

    • swg

      She is dismayed that , “…one individual is so vilified for making private statements…” Did she have anything to say about Mitt Romney’s private statements being use to vilify him wayyyyy back in 2012?

    • PistolsForPandas

      First they came for the Proposition 8 supporters, because I was not a Proposition 8 supporter…

  • Right Wired ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    She votes for democrats all her life, then complains about what happens when their insanity is allowed to take hold…wow!

    • FreedomRecon

      Of course! They think their rules only apply to the other side.

  • OLLPOH ~ OurLifeLiberty

    To this person Carol Oates. We have been saying this for years, and years. . .

    We will not allow a white flag planted on her soil…
    OLLPOH ~ Our Life Liberty Pursuit Of Happiness
    (Mr. and Mrs.)

  • LoriGirl

    No, you’re not the only one. I bet we can still burn an American flag, though.

    • Perry

      or dip a Cross in urine. Burning the Koran is a no no, though.

    • LegalizeShemp

      Yes, that’s despicable behavior that’s praised by the sicko Left.

  • Veracious_one

    if you have anything to say, say it now while you still have that luxury…

  • stdog

    NBA =/= federal government.
    Free speech doesn’t mean I can come to your house, piss you off,
    and you dont have any right to kick me out.

  • Specialist Ed

    The first Amendment was written to protect speech people disagree with.

  • Stephen L. Hall #NonquamTrump

    She believes in individual rights . . . but hates others who believe in individual rights labeled ‘conservative’ . . . sponsors the philosophy which suppresses the individual, called ‘socialism’ . . . and acts shocked when things happen in a predictable fashion as if this was news to anyone. Liberalism is founded upon the willing suspension of disbelief . . . sort of like Hollywood.

  • Perry

    Never thought I would agree with HER, but I do. PC has gone way too far.

  • FreedomRecon

    She’s only upset about being held accountable in public for private conversations because Dems have been saying worse than what Sterling said in private for 200 years.

    • Humanary Stew

      They have often said it publicly as well.

  • LegalizeShemp

    Yes it’s a Brave New World, liberals are on a jihad to destroy anyone and everyone who opposes their Marxist totalitarian agenda. And since most people are not opposing it and cheerleading from the sidelines, you will be next.

  • MLCross

    If Sterling had just inserted the word, “vagina”, every couple of sentences into his rant, leftists would’ve been calling for him to win a Grammy for Best Spoken Word performance.

  • SpaceRacer423

    People seem to be very confused.
    The Sterling ban isnt a Free Speech issue or even a racism issue.
    The NBA doesnt give a damn about either one of those things.
    The NBA cares about MONEY, and that’s it.
    Sterling’s comments upset a HUGE percentage of the NBA’s fan base.
    So the NBA Commissioner banned him in order to protect the investment of the other 29 team owners.
    Honestly, you can be a owner, coach, player, executive or GM and openly call for segregation and the NBA wont say a word as long as it doesnt make national news and affect the NBA’s bottom line.

    • dwsmokin

      True, but it’s HIS team. He bought it, he owns it. He’s an A$$, but that makes him different than most other wealthy owners how? Her point-and I agree-is that it sets a very dangerous precedent when private property can be force/sold simply due to a private statement-regardless how disgusting.

      • SpaceRacer423

        its not a precedent at all.
        When he bought the NBA franchise he agreed to the terms of the NBA’s bylaws. If he engages in conduct “detrimental to the Assoc” his suffers the consequences.
        These agreements have been in every franchise contract for decades.
        If you own a restaurant and make comments like this,
        no big deal, its your place.
        However if you own a Shoney’s franchise and comments/actions like this become public, Shoney’s will remove you from their franchise list in order to protect the investment of other franchise owners.
        Side note:
        Is Shoney’s still around?
        I havent seen one in years.

        • john lecorchick

          or how bout Bob’s Big Boy? awesome hair….this, along with Benghazi, IRS, NSA, Fast and Furious, is truly the beginning of the end.

      • Smiley

        Because that’s the nature of the game Sterling signed up for, including all those contracts and bylaws. In return for those billions, all they ask is that he keeps his mouth shut and not make waves for them.

        Otherwise the NBA could care less about what kind of guy he is, that’s why he could behave as a slum lord in LA and steal the Clippers from San Diego, among many other things. The only difference now is they got him on tape declaring that he’s a total sociopath and it’s bad enough to threaten the whole league. Even Adam Silver had to admit that (“Well, we got ‘direct evidence'” was his lame excuse).

        This is not at all the same as Brandon Eich and Phil Robertson, that was the leftist mob trying to destroy them publicly for having the “wrong” opinion (“struggle session” as they called it in Maoist China). Too bad Joyce Whatever Oafs can’t figure this out.

        • nc ✓s & balances

          We seem to be in the minority on this issue, but congratulations to you and SpaceRacer below for explaining it so well.

          Everyone agrees you cannot yell fire in a crowded theater. Well, to ignore this, would create the same effect. The players did nothing wrong. The sponsors didn’t want to be associated with him, so they pulled out. The fans were upset. Things would have snowballed into an ugly mess. BTW, it was 90 degrees in LA yesterday, just to add to the mix.

          One more thing. There’s no precedent here. A private enterprise, not government, made a decision.

    • ceemack

      Um…he didn’t say it openly. It was in a private conversation that was illegally taped. For this Stiviano (sp.?) chick to pass it to TMZ may also have been illegal.

      The NBA’s franchise contract, if I understand it correctly, does not give the league the power to punish an owner in this manner.

      • Stephen L. Hall #NonquamTrump

        Was it illegally taped? The laws vary from state to state.

        • SpaceRacer423

          CA requires two party consent.
          So if she didnt tell him she was taping, its illegal.
          However there are some reports out there that suggest Sterling knew he was being taped.

          • Stephen L. Hall #NonquamTrump

            Thanks, I know in MD both parties have to know, in WV only one party has to know. I wasn’t sure where the conversation took place or the laws there.

        • CHHR

          according to TMZ, those that listened to the entire 45 minute tape says there was no doubt he KNEW he was being recorded.

        • socalcon

          I can’t confirm, but I’d heard a report that Sterling had asked to be taped as “he’d been suffering recently from memory loss”.
          Sounds like DS is a victim of the gf’s actions…

          • Stephen L. Hall #NonquamTrump

            You never know, he could be suffering from the early stages of dementia and saying things without those usual social filters.

      • SpaceRacer423

        He didnt say it in public,
        but it became public.
        The NBA isnt a court of law, they dont have the same standards of
        The mistress may well have broken the law if she didnt inform Sterling she was taping. THAT is a matter for the court system.
        Sterling’s words and actions however are still subject to the NBA terms and conditions and will go to arbitration.

  • Jenn Oates

    I’m a bit surprised that I agree with her. That’s a change.

    • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      No family relation? Declare interest, if any.

      • Jenn Oates

        None at all as far as I know!

        • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          What about John Oates? 😉

          • Jenn Oates

            Nope, nor Warren Oates.

          • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Nor Titus Oates, nor Quaker Oates, I’m guessin’…

          • Jenn Oates

            Titus is a possible, as my ancestors did come from that small island, but definitely not Lawrence Edward Grace, he of Oates Coast fame. :)

          • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            All these Oateses!
            It’s all a plot, I tell you!
            I’m outta here!
            “I may be some time…”

  • stdog

    I would respect her more if she felt this way about the IRS scandal. Or dems journalism shield law, or what happened regarding fox journalist Rosen.

    But the NBA is basically private club and the can boot whomever they wish for whatever reason, that too is freedom.

  • dwsmokin

    Rarely do I agree with Ms. Oates-yet we are kindred spirits here. The same rights have to apply to all, or they are meaningless. As an author/artists, she, and those like her, should appreciate this more than most.

  • Gandalf

    Joining the party a little late, aren’t Joyce. We have been crying about the 1st amendment for the past 6 years. I haven’t given up my freedom, and I never will.

  • Jack Deth

    Looks like Ms. Joyce “Female Pattern Baldness” Oates didn’t get her cut from Mr. Sterling’s latest shakedown.

    To quote D.C.’s Mayor for Life, Marion Barry:

    “The bitch set me up!!!”

  • Marcy Cook

    Getting scary out there Joyce….you could be next.

  • © Sponge

    Well there, Olive Oyl. You’ve been calling for the end of free speech for decades. Now that you have a liberal racist called to the carpet, you suddenly worry about it?

    Nice try……

  • Ms. Abigail van Beagle

    So now here’s another opportunity for the democrats/leftists to pull the same stunt they did with slavery. They can suddenly decide it’s in their best interest to flip position, and claim that free speech was their position all along and it took them this long to convince those of us who have been fighting for it the whole time. Yup, they will swoop in and save the day, claim they were always for free speech and it was the evil republicans who were trying to censor everything and everyone. And their disciples will swallow it whole just like they have bought the democrats’ tall tale about how they ended slavery.

  • FreedomRecon

    They see the movement back to the right in the country. They know this admin has wayyyyy overreached. They may be now contemplating, what if a Republican in office did what we have been doing, only in the other direction….and they are getting scared.

  • Chris Pavlik

    I never thought I would agree with that self important, pompous windbag.

  • QueenB

    Perhaps you should speak with the liberals you roll with. Have a little chat about free speech and whatnot. In case you haven’t noticed, and I am quite sure you haven’t, they don’t seem to be too keen on the whole free speech thing. Unless of course it’s the Senate minority leader skewering private citizens on the floor.

  • Steve__Jacobson

    Her premise is wrong. Only certain people are subjec to recriminations. Farrakhan, Sharpton, and others spread they hate in public withou any recriminations.

  • CLEmom

    Spike Lee: “I seriously want to pick up a gun and shoot whites”.
    So I guess he’ll be next, right?
    Banned from Hollywood?
    No more films?
    2.5 million dollar fine?

    Oh. Didn’t think so.

    • BatCat

      He also works for the NBA on their Sirius NBA radio show. He should get fired from there.

    • aemoreira81

      When did Spike Lee say that? Cross the bridge when you get there, instead of making up hypotheticals that are so unrealistic as to be laughable.

    • Ryan Johnson

      whoa. I didn’t know he said that. Thats f.ed up.

  • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Luke 15:7 “More joy shall there be in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine just persons in no need of repentance.” If JCO has ever spoken out against the free-speech rights of others (and that would be an oddity right there, considering a lot of the dark $#!t she cranks out that could easily be banned– as she might fear it could be), let this verse guide your thinking on the subject. Unless, of course, she backslides.

  • Ted C

    She makes some excellent points.

  • CHHR

    Hate to say this folks, but Silver mentioned why he had to take the action he took… Sterling’s comments were made public. Remember, Sterling did sign a LEGAL contract and in that contract are provisions, that if broken, allows for the Commissioner to take the very action he took… Yes, Sterling gave up his own right to free speech when he willingly signed a contract that warned him his private behavior must never put the NBA’s image in jeopardy.

    Please don’t equate the Sterling incident as disarming us of our right to free speech.

    But I am amazed that so few are talking about an obvious gold digger upset over something between she and Sterling… so upset that she sent a recording from 5 years ago to the media to get even…

    Or that “… people who have heard the entire (45 minute) recording say there is “NO DOUBT” Donald Sterling KNEW he was being recorded.”

    • craigzimmerman12

      An apology would have been enough.

      • CHHR

        another good point… despite the publicity of his comments, he has yet to apologize. No, this isn’t about free speech, it’s about consequences and I stand behind a free market system that self corrects where needed.

      • Ms. Abigail van Beagle

        I’m not a big fan of forced apologies. If you’re a racist, misogynist person, be who you is. If it comes out of your mouth, be a man and OWN IT. The fact that a half-assed apology and a sizable donation can bring this guy back into the good graces of the people he’s been slandering for years is very telling.

        • CHHR

          Like one of his former players said last night… they all knew but the money was good and because he didn’t necessarily do something to them, they took the money and just did their jobs.

          • Ms. Abigail van Beagle

            Textbook definition of “sellout”

          • CHHR

            the condition seems to be contageous

          • QueenB

            So basically, they’re a bunch of whores too, just like the gold digger that recorded the conversation?

  • craigzimmerman12

    I have the same question as Ms. Oates. This sets a terrible precedent.

  • LegalizeShemp

    Did the left do stories on what a huge step forward for women this is with 23 year old women of color prostituting themselves as gold diggers for rich white billionaires? I didn’t hear any “liberating and novel” talk about the world’s oldest profession.

    • Ms. Abigail van Beagle

      That’s why the leftists’ version of liberated women still need free birth control and abortions. They equate liberation with relying on men to take care of them even if it means exchanging sex for room, board and shiny things.

  • ceemack

    Dear God…I’m actually in agreement with Joyce Carol Oates. >shudder<

  • Leende

    It’s the first time I agreed with her. Maybe I need to seek help.

  • sludog

    WOW, I CAN’T believe I agree with Joyce Carol Oates on anything!!!!!

  • Dixie_Sugarbaker

    Taping and releasing Sterling’s private conversation – Media says “OK”.
    Taping and releasing Romney’s speech at a private event – Media says “Fair game”.
    Taping and releasing Obama’s speech at a private event honoring a radical Muslim – Media says “No, you can’t see it; you won’t understand the content and nuance”. Still being held and not released by the Los Angeles Times.

    • aemoreira81

      Except that the media didn’t tape any of those things. Vis a vis a release:

      1. Questionable, but any criminal activity is on the part of the person doing the recording.
      2. Romney was at the time a declared candidate for an office of public honor.
      3. The tape had already been wiped and lost.

      • Dixie_Sugarbaker

        I understand that the media did not tape any of them. The issue is that the media obtained each one and released two of them but would not release one – one that was made of a sitting U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate. That tape was not also newsworthy? My post was made to highlight the hypocrisy of the media.

        P.S. The Los Angeles Times has admitted that it still has the Obama tape; they just won’t release it.

  • CrustyB

    I agree that private conversations can be as wrong as possible. If you could prosecute people for “free thought” then Jesse Jackson should be on death row. But in this case it reflected a policy about not letting blacks into NBA games, which falls under NBA jurisdiction. I think that’s the key difference.

  • Jake Bradford

    It’s all politically motivated. You can scream the ugliest, most hateful, threatening, racist, vicious things from the rooftop……AS LONG AS your victim is a conservative, Christian, white male….you know the list.

  • Hi This Is My Username

    HOLY SH*T! She is making sense!

    Umm… is Hell freezing over?

  • jumper297

    Well this has turned out to be an unpleasant day… I find myself in full agreement with Joyce Carol Oats on this topic.

  • Lienathan

    “Tragic pessimist George Orwell could not have foreseen that individuals
    would give up their freedom to be punitive Big Brother themselves.”

    Actually, that’s exactly what Orwell posits in 1984. That not only will there be such oppression but that many in the population will be willing, even enthusiastic, participants.

    And the man was prescient, if a few years early in his predictions.

  • socalcon

    The Left cries out “Racist!” and for JCO to be banned from Twitter in 3…2…1…

  • Name

    racism has become the “witchcraft” of the 21st century. Easy to inflict on someone with little or no real proof, impossible to defend against, and the punishment is swift and sure with or without the pesky details of a trial (even if it’s a kangaroo court).
    Channeling and paraphrasing Monty Python: How do you know he is a Racist? He looks like one… burn him….. Look at the nose. It’s a false one. Well, yeah, we did do the nose,…. but burn him anyway!

    • sgreen516

      How does one defend themselves once they are accused of being a racist? You can’t prove a negative. “Prove you’re not a racist” definitely does sound like “Prove you’re not a witch”

      • Name

        yep. It’s like one of those questions with no way to win. Like “so, have you stopped beating your wife”. No matter the answer, you’re condemned as a wife beater.

        • URANid10t

          Al Sharpton is the new John Hathorne. Donald Sterling, Paula Deen are akin to Rebecca Nurse & Bridget Bishop

      • Ms. Abigail van Beagle

        You have to be proactive and accuse someone else of racism first in order to prove that you’re not a racist. It is also helpful to go around pointing out which groups are “too white” and demanding that they actively target black people and lure them in.
        If you aren’t acutely aware and vocal about racial groups, you are GUARANTEED to be branded with a scarlet R.

  • BatCat

    “If one individual is so vilified for making private statements, one day you may not dare say anything “critical” about the President”
    awww Joyce…you are late to the party, as we are all racists for saying critical things about Obama. I am surprised you never heard about that.

    • QueenB

      I’m pretty sure she’s only concerned about the next time a republican is President.

      • BatCat

        Yeah, I know…just wanted to put it in perspective for her!!

  • aemoreira81

    One problem, but it’s a big one: As envisioned by the founders, the concept of free speech only applies to the relationship between an individual and government. It was never intended to be applied to the private sector (although other Amendments may extend there).

    • sanfordandsons

      There are laws for recording conversations without permission which is protected under the 1st amendment. I believe I smell a lawsuit developing.

      • aemoreira81

        Those laws go only towards the person who is actually doing the recording—in this case, the mistress.

  • Kristine ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Yeah, get back to me when she defends Paula Dean, Phil Robertson, and
    Brendan Eich.

  • wildwood15

    Except….it ISN”T a matter of the First Amendment. It’s a business enforcing their code of conduct for what’s good for business. That said, much as I’m surprised, JCO is right to lament the death of individualism and liberty.

  • Super Marsupial

    Those dem donation $$ sure buy you a lot of apologists


    I mean, it’s not like Sterling hung pit bulls, or choked his coach, or assaulted spectators at a game.

  • Chevypowered

    Unless he was a right wing, Christian conservative who made that statement her tune would be different…very different.

  • fitzy94

    What hasn’t been addressed and just learned today is that Sterling’s wife/ex-wife owns 50% of the team. She has done nothing wrong. How can the NBA force her to sell her part of the team?
    If she takes the NBA to court, she would win.

  • kabos

    The NBA is not the government; private actors are not bound by the 1st Amendment; the penalties levied by Silver are spelled out in the NBA’s constitution (*not* the same thing as the U.S. Constitution, btw, in case anyone else is as confused as Oates), which Sterling agreed to be bound by; fines and suspensions levied by one private party against another are not “criminalization” (crimes are unlawful acts punished by the *state*, i.e. the government, which is entirely uninvolved in this case); public censure is not the same as “end of/suppression of free speech;” and there is no First Amendment guarantee that: “I can say whatever I want without any consequences at all.” The 1st Amendment just says the government can’t prohibit most of your speech, with narrow exceptions– however, people can still hate you, your business associates can still shun you, you can still be fired from your job if your employer finds your speech inappropriate to your role as employee, and a voluntary association of fellow NBA owners can absolutely still use the codified by-laws of the Association to kick your a** out. Etc, etc, etc… It’s really simple, it’s really not hard to understand, at all, and believe it or not it hasn’t changed– people have always gotten fired for actions their employers disagreed with, neighbors have always shunned people for distasteful opinions, etc. I’m not sure if free speech is threatened these days, but it certainly seems like basic intelligence is.

    • junkbondtrader41

      Phil Robertson, the Mozilla CEO, and now Sterling. You guys have really had a fervent, borderline-religious conversion re: free markets, employer rights, and contract law, haven’t you?

      I admit that you are correct on the particulars. The NBA is not, it goes without saying, the govt. And Sterling agreed to submit himself to their authority when he became a team owner. HAVING SAID ALL THAT, however, do you not even concede that this is getting to point where you guys going collectively apesh*t and leading jihads to take away livelihoods from individual after individual who expresses a “controversial” opinion is getting a bit dangerous? How does it matter to the injured party that the mob’s boots on the backs of their financial necks are private entities driven to action by non-govt agitators than a govt agency? All over opinions expressed PRIVATELY, in the form of a political donation and a private conversation? Does this not violate the spirit, if not the letter, of “free speech?”

      You know you would be on the other side of the question if this were, say, retribution against a civil rights activist in the Jim Crow South or an employee who was critical of the Iraq War. You ought to be hesitant in creating a precedent to where today’s powerful technology capturing privately expressed thoughts can mean a professional lynching. This is going to come back to bite you.

  • Ryan Johnson

    I’m a bit torn about this. On the one hand, I’m very much pro privacy. I argued with people who were openly apathetic about the nsa spying. On the other hand I think Donald should be fired. but shouldn’t he have been fired for when he was an open racist and not a closet one?

    and on a personal note for why I’m mixed: 2 years ago in college a girl falsely accused me of sexually harassing her. because some people in the classroom didn’t like me she believed them when they told her that I was taking pictures of her with my phone, that whenever she would hug me I would touch her wrong, and that I would stare at her. All of these were false.

    When I tried to talk to her about it I recorded our conversation in case she made good on her threat to report me to the dean; if she was to say i did something I didn’t, the recording would prove otherwise.

    Spoiler alert; she did indeed lie and say I threatened her. I had gotten a temporary suspension until I met with the dean of discipline behind her. When I met with him my recording proved otherwise; it also proved she wasn’t afraid of me as she lied and said she was, because she, unprovoked, dropped 20 f bombs at me in the span of two minutes. Yes. Not an exaggeration. The recording also had her threatening me; “you’re gonna get f..king kicked out of school.”

    I truly believe that I may have been dust if not for that recording. People from the class were called in that spoke on my behalf, true. But I knew I had to protect myself.

    That’s why I’m unsure about the way in which Sterling was fired, though I agree from what I learned of his history he should have been gone long ago.

    • san rafael blue

      I’m glad you acted to protect yourself. Sometimes you cannot expect the institution, however highly esteemed, to keep an open mind and a neutral perspective. Men in schools have to be very careful anyway, because a lot of power-mad educators today happen to be female or radical feminists.

      Some colleges can’t figure out why so few males want to enroll in their local colleges if the money is not the main problem. Many would be advised to take a good look at their advertising , print and online. Is 80% of your school’s advertising only showing women students and women teachers? Well Duh, that is the dominant theme of your presentation to the public. Some may think this is a school that while they won’t come out and say, No Men Applicants Please, the message is clear nonetheless.

      • Ryan Johnson

        mainly I feel like its a marxist scam nowadays. why would i pay to have my God insulted by the professors, all for a piece of paper? why go where I’m not respected, including the reasons you said?

      • Ryan Johnson

        I suppose you could argue that the difference is I didn’t use my recording to get the girl kicked out of school, but rather to protect myself unlike what happened to Sterling.

  • sanfordandsons

    I totally agree. I’m not a fan of Joyce, but what this boils down to is a PRIVATE conversation that was surreptitiously recorded between two people. This is tantamount to recording a conversation between Charles Barkley and Spike Lee who go off on those white honkies who treat blacks like cotton pickers (sounds like Bundy doesn’t it?) Was Sterling wrong to express his feelings? No. Was he wrong in the eyes of God? Yes. All of this false bravado on the side of the NBA makes me sick. There are many more moral and ethical problems in the league that are significantly more pressing that what a old fart says to his hooker girl friend. Give me a break. The Black NBA can have the whole league if that is what they want. Makes no difference to me.

  • Benjamin Johnson

    Thanks for helping to create the culture you now decry.

  • SonofLiberty

    Ms. Joyce is, IMO, correct in believing our private conversations should be private but the 1st Amendment does not apply here.

  • des111168

    She helped bring about this world, and now she’s having second thoughts?