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Sterling/Eich

[ 113 ] April 28, 2014 |

David Badash has some questions:

Right now, many are demanding Sterling be sanctioned, many more want him to be forced to sell the Clippers.

But shouldn’t Andrew Sullivan, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, Bryan Fischer, Tony Perkins, AEI fellow Charles Murray, Legal Insurrection blogger William A. Jacobson, former GOP chair Ken Mehlman, Washington Post blogger Eugene Volokh, Slate’s Will Saletan, and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, among many others, voice support for Sterling?

Shouldn’t they be rushing to his defense?

They all certainly were defending Brendan Eich just a few weeks ago. Some, in a strange reverse exercise of “hate the sin, love the sinner” act, even this week.

The most promising principle put forth in defense of Eich was the idea that, as a general rule, people shouldn’t lose their jobs for their political opinions. An obvious and

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necessary caveat would be when those expressions of political opinion are directly related to that person’s capacity to do his job well: no one would seriously object to, say, Obama firing his press secretary for publishing articles calling for the repeal of Obamacare, even he wrote them off the clock. I suggested this exception rather obviously applies in the case of Eich, because a) it’s perfectly reasonable for gay employees and business partners to a) feel less than thrilled about working for someone who petitions the state to dissolve their marriage, and b) not feel they need to self-censor out of concern for the possible reputational costs expressing their feelings might have for their boss. But for Eich’s defenders, that was not enough–as long as he wasn’t directly and specifically discriminating against gays and lesbians in the workplace, these indirect concerns were irrelevant.

By this standard, any action against Sterling–or, indeed, any public complaint about his unfitness for the ownership of an NBA team, must be accompanied by evidence of racial discrimination in the Clippers organization. Using the standards used to suggest Eich was somehow wronged, we’d have to demonstrate direct evidence of something along the lines of JJ Redick receiving preferential treatment over Chris Paul for clearly racially discriminatory reasons, not only should Sterling retain his owner status, suggesting otherwise is a threat to a robust free speech culture.

Comments (113)

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  1. Gwen says:

    Consistency, once again, the hobgoblin of little minds.

    I think a big point here is the reality that Sterling’s comments are doubly-damning given that he literally is getting wealthy on the backs of black athletes. Charles Barkley made that very clear in his comments after the Houston-Portland game last night.

    Eich, for one, doesn’t seem to have done anything other than not apologizing for a campaign contribution he made 6 years ago. And although I have no doubt that there are some gay folks at Mozilla, the entire Mozilla business model isn’t premised on exploiting LGBT people.

    Hate is hate, but it’s particularly hateful when combined with hypocrisy (far more evident in Sterling’s case). So there’s that.

    • rea says:

      Sterling’s comments are doubly-damning given that he literally is getting wealthy on the backs of black athletes.

      He apparently doesn’t see it that way. The League in his view is about he owners, not the players:

      V: I don’t understand, I don’t see your views. I wasn’t raised the way you were raised.

      DS: Well then, if you don’t feel—don’t come to my games. Don’t bring black people, and don’t come.

      V: Do you know that you have a whole team that’s black, that plays for you?

      DS: You just, do I know? I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? Do I know that I have—Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?

      http://deadspin.com/exclusive-the-extended-donald-sterling-tape-1568291249

      • politicalfootball says:

        The Right Wing lexicon consists mostly of code words. This is what they mean when they talk about “job creators.”

      • Gwen says:

        Good point, and what a whacked-out view.

        Any employer who would dwell on what he “gives” his employees without weighing what his employees are giving him… well actually that would just be a typical capitalist. But it’s still whacked out!

    • djw says:

      Eich, for one, doesn’t seem to have done anything other than not apologizing for a campaign contribution he made 6 years ago. And although I have no doubt that there are some gay folks at Mozilla, the entire Mozilla business model isn’t premised on exploiting LGBT people.

      If I’m understanding the distinction you’re trying to make here correctly, the suggestion is that gay Mozilla employees should have self-censored their discomfort at working for someone who uses his earnings to petition the state to dissolve their marriage because they make up a relatively small percentage of Mozilla’s workforce. I’m afraid I’m going to need an actual reason for why “percentage of the workforce” does the work necessary to make the difference here.

      • Este says:

        I’m unclear on why you bring up the gay employees self-censoring. Are you referring to the fact that Eich resigned in the wake of loud criticism by Mozilla users and employees, and not as a result of a pressure campaign to get him fired? If so, I agree: gay employees had no obligation to refrain from criticism, even if he eventually resigned due to that criticism.

    • socraticsilence says:

      If we’re going with the consistency argument though one could make just as good an argument that Owning a team, especially in the hands off fashion that a man in his 80s is likely to do going forward is less impactful than being the CEO of a firm in terms of active discrimination.

      The counter would be the Elgin Baylor suit while the counter to that would be the NAACP awards where as Eich wasn’t being honored by say the HRC in the run-up to this.

    • Joseph says:

      > the entire Mozilla business model isn’t premised on exploiting LGBT
      >people.

      The Mozilla business model is founded on freedom. It’s open source, where everyone is judged solely on merit, sharing is essential to its success, and “free as in freedom” is the core of the idea. The source is available so every user can do exactly what they want with the software (so long as they share contributions back); there’s isn’t someone locking you out of your software and telling you what to do.

      Eich’s bigoted view is anathema to open source. There is no way that a person can lead one of the most successful open source projects and be against personal freedom. Even Mozilla, in their apology for having chosen Eich in the first place, said

      >Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this
      >past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and
      >angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to
      >ourselves.
      >
      >Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is
      >necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for
      >equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be
      >hard.
      >
      >Our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness. We
      >welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture,
      >ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual
      >orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla
      >supports equality for all.

      Mozilla depends on contributions of code. LGBT and LGBT-friendly people declining to contribute any more code (or worse, contributing to Google Chrome instead) would be disastrous for Mozilla. Getting rid of Eich was the only sound option, but the board was inept in hiring someone who didn’t support freedom in the first place (although much of the board did leave after Eich was appointed, albeit some claim it was unrelated).

  2. Gwen says:

    Also, whether or not black people were welcome in public stopped being a matter of serious political debate about 50 years ago. All right-thinking Americans get this.

    Eich, perhaps, could be forgiven for only being about five years behind the curve on marriage equality.

    • dick tracy says:

      Unless you are a lesbian Eich did nothing against you and your opinion as to whether he should be forgiven is worthless.

    • djw says:

      Also, whether or not black people were welcome in public stopped being a matter of serious political debate about 50 years ago. All right-thinking Americans get this.

      It seems noteworthy that we didn’t reach such a point by ensuring powerful, publicly avowed racists were protected from public criticism and/or any significant reputational consequences for their racism.

  3. calling all toasters says:

    As far as we know, Sterling is a much, much, much, much worse human being than Eich. Did Eich invite girlfriends over to watch gay men showering? Did he illegally deny housing to gay men? Does he have a long history of making offensively anti-gay remarks? Is he a litigious asshole? Maybe he has something of a similar history, but I’ve yet to hear of it.

    • ThrottleJockey says:

      Oh, brother, here we go again…

      By this standard, any action against Sterling–or, indeed, any public complaint about his unfitness for the ownership of an NBA team, must be accompanied by evidence of racial discrimination in the Clippers organization.

      There is a fertilizer company CEO somewhere envious of this ability to produce BS. There is loads of evidence of Sterling’s discrimination. He’s been sued three times for discrimination. He paid the then largest settlement ever for housing discrimination–$3M!!!

      And, by the way, if Eich had ever said, “Don’t bring any gays around Mozilla, don’t take any pictures with gays”, that would’ve been sufficient, because it would be patent discrimination.

    • djw says:

      As far as we know, Sterling is a much, much, much, much worse human being than Eich

      This seems very likely to be true. Why it’s relevant to the specific argument I’m addressing, I have no idea, since nothing in my argument turns on clearing some “really really awful person” threshold.

      • calling all toasters says:

        You’re right– my introductory sentence doesn’t address your specific argument. The rest of my comment is about where Sterling has actually taken actions that are more harmful and more appalling to the group he has targeted, and in which he had more directly participated. Perhaps this is also not relevant to your argument. It is, however, relevant to whether one can wish to see Sterling pressured to leave/be removed and yet not wish to see Eich pressured to leave/be removed, and still be honest.

        • Joseph says:

          Attempting to dissolve the marriage of someone you’ve never met and attempting to make it as legally hard as possible for someone to even have a marriage doesn’t sound any less awful than housing discrimination to me.

          I once talked to someone whose same-sex partner of decades died. She legally wasn’t considered “family”. She was forced into the humiliating position of having to plead to be allowed to claim her deceased loved one’s remains after cremation. In her case the funeral director was a decent human being and agreed but it could just as easily have gone the other way.

          In one case I read about two men entered a relationship. One had a much higher income than the other so they decided to be a one income household. They were both very young (very early thirties) and there was no will. There was a tragic car accident and the working partner died. Without a will, an estranged, homophobic aunt and her daughter were declared next of kin. They began claiming property from the house, including things the other partner had brought into the relationship. Since the house was in the deceased’s name (he already owned it an unlike a legally married couple adding the partner to the deed would have incurred a massive tax liability) and the aunt gave the remaining partner 30 days to move out. He was now jobless, grieving the loss of life partner and going to be homeless in 30 days.

          In another story, there was a landslide that severely injured one parent in a two-woman household with children. The other woman rushed to the hospital with the children. Since the dying woman was not legally considered a parent of the children, neither her partner nor her children were allowed into ICU to say goodbye before the woman died.

          In my own state, when it had civil union instead of marriage, one person whose partner was in ICU was told that they weren’t family. Sadly and humiliatingly they had to go home and get their civil union certificate and bring it to the hospital. They were then told “I don’t know what this is. Whatever it is, it’s not a marriage certificate, and unless you’re married, you can’t see go in there.” UPS was even denying health insurance benefits to partners in civil unions because “they could do it because it wasn’t marriage”. This despite a total of THREE employees in the state had asked for the benefit. The governor was acquainted with a higher-up at UPS and had to personally intervene to get them to reverse this decision.

          This is just a tip of the iceberg of the human misery that results from things like Prop 8 and the legal attempt to make gay and lesbian families as challenging to stay together as possible. Please don’t tell me that Eich’s action fails to rise to the occasion of being just as odious as anything Sterling has done.

          • calling all toasters says:

            By this standard, buying a copy of Mein Kampf when Hitler was still getting royalties would be worse than raping a dozen people. I don’t think most people would see it that way, but YMMV.

    • JL says:

      No, he just used his resources to get the state to dissolve the marriages of same-sex couples, causing them financial, psychological, and health-related harm.

      I am not making any claims about his goodness or badness relative to Sterling (who comes off as a real piece of work in everything that has come out about him). But there’s an implication here, possibly unintentional, that what Eich did wasn’t a big deal, which I disagree with. Why isn’t what he did enough to be considered offensive or assholish?

      • calling all toasters says:

        Why isn’t what he did enough to be considered offensive or assholish?

        OK, let me state for the record: I find Eich’s contribution to the ballot initiative assholish. OTOH, I’m not offended, because it’s really hard to be offended about something that isn’t happening in one’s presence. Hell, there’s too much conservative evil in this country to even be appalled.

        I am not making any claims about his goodness or badness relative to Sterling

        Well, OK then. But I think it’s pretty clear that a guy like Sterling– who actually states his prejudices out loud in extravagantly depraved ways, acts on them to the point of violating the law, and has been doing all this for decades — is someone who is a far greater threat to a decent society.

        • Fred Fuque says:

          You may have missed recent Supreme Court cases equating money and speech. Eich gave money to Prop 8 proponents who said gays cannot be allowed in the presence of children. Thus, Eich said gays cannot be in the presence of children. Thus Eich made direct discriminatory comments about gays.

          • calling all toasters says:

            Well, when you start with the assumption that 1 = 0, every number turns out to be equal to every other number.

            On a related note, when will the Supreme Court decide that guns are people and ammunition is speech?

  4. brad says:

    I’d have to say that bringing women into the locker room to show off the players in the shower amounts to racism and/or sexual harassment in the workplace, but I am not a lawister.

    Murray should have no problems, tho, hell, it’s a chance for a new patron for his crap. And now that Sterling’s party registration has been noted it’ll become him being “crazy” and vanish from the right instantly, aside from Jacobson ignoring reality completely and Breitbart turning him into a martyr when he’s sanctioned or pushed out.

  5. howard says:

    sterling doesn’t have a job, so there is no principle at work here about not losing your job over the exercise of free speech rights.

  6. Mike L. says:

    And then there is also Elgin Baylor, former long-time General Manager of the Clipper, suing Sterling for age and racial discrimination.

    • drkrick says:

      And losing. I don’t know the ins and outs of the case and whether the result was an injustice (frankly, given the results Baylor was in no position to argue he wasn’t being rewarded for a job well done), but it bugs me that people cite that lawsuit all the time without mentioning the result.

  7. Anonymous says:

    funny how this screamed bloody murder when Ozzie Guillen was suspended for supporting a genocidal dictator but has no problem punishing Donald Sterling for less offensive remarks.

  8. Zoloft says:

    So DJW you are OK commenting about illegally recorded private conversations between sexual partners that are posted on the Internet by one of them to embarrass the other.

    Are you also OK with posting hacked emails? How about private videos between sexual partners being put online to embarrass the other one after a breakup?

    • brad says:

      Indeed, why won’t the left stop slut shaming Sterling with innocent selfies?

    • NobodySpecial says:

      Where were you when Ken Starr had a job?

    • Scott S. says:

      Jenny, why do you love Donald Sterling so much?

    • ThrottleJockey says:

      Yes, we’re okay with it. Next?

    • Yeah, throw the book at his girlfriend, and ignore everything else.

      Are you this stupid in real life?

      • DrDick says:

        Why yes, yes he is.

      • Zoloft says:

        The girlfriend ended up with 1.8 million in property from an 81 year old, possibly taking advantage of him to a degree that constitutes elder abuse. But she indisputably recorded him without his consent, which is the only crime here.

        • wjts says:

          I’ll invite any one of our resident lawyers to weigh in, but my understanding is that recording someone’s voice is not necessarily a crime.

          • Richard says:

            In California it is a crime. its a misdemeanor to record someone without that person’s consent (except for certain exceptions which dont seem to be met here). However it is a crime that is rarely prosecuted. The fact that it was likely a crime to make the recording doesn’t, of course, in any way make the content of the tape suspect or lead one to any other conclusion that Sterling is a vile racist.

        • Jordan says:

          But she indisputably recorded him without his consent

          If we are going to play your stupid game, this statement is absolutely false. You don’t know who made the recording, much less whether it was with or without Sterling’s knowledge.

        • Joseph says:

          Taking advantage of him? To borrow the point of Bill Maher in regards to Anna Nicole Smith, if she was sleeping with that then she earned that money!

          Sterling isn’t some sort of incapacitated dementia victim in a nursing home. He’s a dirty old man and she wanted a sugar daddy. They’re taking advantage of each other. Each of them clearly knows what they’re doing. She’s hot, he’s loaded – the tapes show a clear understanding of how that relationship worked.

    • CJColucci says:

      If someone whose business it is objects enough to the disclosures to take whatever action he or she is legally entitled to take, he or she is welcome, with my blessing FWIW, to whatever redress the law allows — which does not include having everyone pretend that we don’t now know what we now know and decline to act or comment on it.

      • Zoloft says:

        So if someone hacks your email and puts it online, you’re OK with people dissecting the emails online so long as you can spend a bunch of money on lawyers to maybe sue them and win?

        • Col Bat Guano says:

          Well, if they want to dissect my vacation plans, they are welcome to it.

        • DrDick says:

          Other than that violating FERPA, it would not embarrass me in the least if somebody hacked my emails. Likewise, I have never said anything to a lover that I would be ashamed to admit to. Bottom line is if you are not a noxious fuckwad, you really have nothing to hide.

          • Aimai says:

            Christ this is ridiculous–Zoloft is pretending that Sterling and every other major league sports owner doesn’t run cameras on his team and workers of every description, doesn’t fire people at will wherever contracts permit it, wouldn’t terminate a worker for non performance, for acting the fool in public, for costing the team money or status. People in this country are routinely spied on, told to pee in cups, forbidden to receive gifts, forbidden to negotiate their own salaries, forbidden to share information on salaries, etc..etc…etc… My withers are wholly unwrung for the travails of an octogenarian asshole who used every waking moment, and presumably some sleeping ones, of the last 70 years to screw over the people around him and to literally fuck the women in his life. If he falls afoul of his fellow billionaires because he shit the bed publicly and made them all look like suckers with their paid arm candy…well…who gives a fuck?

          • drkrick says:

            Likewise, I have never said anything to a lover that I would be ashamed to admit to.

            I’d be a little ashamed of that, but to each his or her own.

        • Pseudonym says:

          The appropriate analogue would be if someone forwarded your private email, unless you’re arguing that this was a third-party recording.

        • CJColucci says:

          Try reading. I know it hurts, but try.

  9. joe from Lowell says:

    You can tell Republicans are in a panic over this by the speed with which they shifted into “Hey, look over there!” mode.

    Whatsamatter, trolly, you don’t want to talk about Donald Sterling and his political affiliation anymore?

  10. Kurzleg says:

    I still can’t figure out what critics of the Eich situation want. Even if you accept their questionable interpretation that Eich was fired, then their quarrel is with Mozilla’s board of directors, isn’t it? How can they fault those who protested his elevation to CEO?

    Personally, I think Eich knew he didn’t have the skill set to successfully handle the spotlight. The guy’s a programmer, after all. His explanatory blog post didn’t exactly read like it was penned by a person comfortable with the written word, and I suspect he didn’t feel all that comfortable as a public speaker either. Given his expertise, Eich could have kept Mozilla pointed in the right direction from a technical perspective, but the scope of a CEO’s responsibilities requires much more, especially when controversy like this confronts the organization.

    • Barry Freed says:

      By voicing their disapproval of Eich they suppressed his First Amendment rights to lucrative employment as CEO of Mozilla.

    • Joseph says:

      >Personally, I think Eich knew he didn’t have the skill set to
      >successfully handle the spotlight.

      That’s something that might have come up during the board’s search, or before accepting the position. He ‘s not just “a programmer”; he co-founded Mozilla. The thinking is the board picked him to go “outside” but since he was co-founder not so outside that anything would really change.

  11. Barry says:

    Remember, Sullivan was already dishonest on this – last November, he helped drive Alec Baldwin out of MSNBC, and cheered when it was done. This March, with Eich, he took the opposite tack.

  12. David B. says:

    These comments ARE running a basketball team in a discriminatory manner. To be fair, Sterling didn’t put them out there, but since they are out, every black employee knows he doesn’t think of them as an equal. Every black CUSTOMER knows Sterling doesn’t think of them as an equal. As we lawyers say, res ipsa loquitur.

    “Free speech culture” is already a claim that free speech rights exist w/r/t other people, not just against the government, and therefore hogwash, but if Sterling wants to be respected for his opinion, the manner in which he says it must be above reproach and afford others the same respect of open debate he wants. With such overtly racist views, that’s pretty much impossible. Maybe if Sterling made comments akin to John Roberts’ criticisms of racial preferences and had threats of boycott, this argument might be interesting, but not here.

    Thus, for the same reason that Mozilla felt customers and employees might not want to deal with Eich, the league can make the same point about Sterling. All 29 other teams are better off without him. He’s more or less a partner and thus answerable to other partners, the way Eich was answerable to the board — at least in spirit. More to the point, they’re better off with a happy Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and Doc Rivers. If you want to tell MJ that he’s being unfair or violating a sense of morality that you created for yourself, that’s your prerogative. But assuming that Commissioner Silver is capable of seeing one chess move ahead, he knows that after this season, a Sterling-owned Clippers won’t have a front office, won’t have an official car dealership or potato chip, and won’t sign a single free agent. Fans won’t renew season tickets. Do “free speech principles” morally obligate an African-American in Los Angeles making maybe $65,000 to continue buying Clippers tickets as his personal luxury, to preserve the right to dissent, setting aside personal revulsion? If not,then Sterling’s removal is more inevitable than Eich’s.

    • mpowell says:

      This is what I would say as well. I didn’t have any problems with Eich’s removal, but I also think the cases are separable. The degree of offensiveness of the comments are directly related to the extent to which they undermine his ability to defend himself by claiming that they are unrelated to his conduct as an owner/boss.

  13. politicalfootball says:

    Andrew Sullivan and Charles Murray may not have the guts to stand up for Sterling, but the Hindrocket comes through.

    This is John Derbyshire’s moment! I’m not actually going to look to find out, but surely he is going to be on the record sypmathizing with a racist whose proclivities became a little too obvious.

  14. Zoloft says:

    I think Eich was very different from the situation here, as political donations should and were, eventually disclosed.

    You partisan hacks are going to regret establishing a standard that people can be fired for statements they made while illegally bugged, even worse by a sexual partner. The Kochs and that baby faced blond goon they used against ACORN have a lot more money to engage in these tactics.

    The nastiness directed toward this old coot is insanely disproportionate. He said things to his lover, not the press. And while his LA Times ads are tacky, he ap

    • Col Bat Guano says:

      It always nice to know there’s someone willing to stand up for the racists in our society. What would we do if they no longer existed?

    • JL says:

      How does “partisan” come into this? This isn’t about Reps vs Dems, it’s about a racist old coot whose political party membership I frankly don’t give a crap about.

    • [h]e said things to his lover

      Yes, telling your biracial girlfriend to stop being so black is just standard pillow talk.

    • drkrick says:

      It’s not crazy to be concerned about the invasion of privacy, but expecting people to unhear what they heard is a non-starter. A pariah is a lousy partner when your business depends on selling ads.

      The idea the Koches and the ACORN kid needed this incident to give them ideas is pretty funny, though. Good one.

    • You partisan hacks are going to regret establishing a standard that people can be fired for statements they made while illegally bugged

      This is just extra publicity. That Sterling’s an awful racist and a shitty employer was on the record well before it.

  15. Zoloft says:

    … he appears to be more generous than 90% of other rich dudes.

  16. Zoloft says:

    these twitter driven 5 minute hates, with the goal being to get someone fired for saying the wrong thing, are both generally distasteful and petty, but also play right into the agenda of the super rich who would love the focus of political discourse to be on petty shit like this.

    Frankly IDK if the left should just unilaterally decide not to engage, given the right will never stop. I remember them doing this to an early progressive feminist blogger who got hired by John Edwards back in 2004. And there is no end to the petty crap they throw against progressive exec and judicial nominees like Gordon Liu.

    Here, however, LGM is happily getting played by team V Steviano and her illegal bugging of her sexual partner, which is a new low.

    • It’s not petty when you hear the guys’ attitude towards the players in his franchise, many of whom are African-American. I’m sorry that you’ve chosen Sterling as your hill to die on, but try to do so with some dignity.

    • Pseudonym says:

      Amanda Marcotte is doing a lot better than Edwards these days. But the issue with Sterling isn’t that he said the wrong thing, it’s that he’s a racist with a long history of racist activities. Sort of like you. A single racist comment might have been an aberration, but everyone’s caught on to your pattern by now.

  17. ns says:

    Prop 8, as ugly as its TV campaign was, pointedly did not rescind domestic partner protections, so a vote or contribution in favor of prop 8 doesn’t say much about the voter/donors underlying feelings about gay people in general. No, Eich didn’t think of gays as 100% equal in 2008. Neither did more than half of CA and the USA — are all those people to be permanently ineligible to be in a managerial or supervisory position? Because that’s just ridiculous, as well as being bad politics.

    Sterling’s comments and prior history are not comparable to Eich’s just because one can be labeled racist and the other homophobic.

    It takes a while for people to get over any prejudicial socialization they might have been raised with. The statute of limitations for personal rehabilitation about racism expired a long time ago, about the time _Letter from Birmingham Jail_ skewered white “moderates.” Gays should be about as patient, seeing as many gays took years to come out of the closet, meaning it took years to get over their own internalized prejudicial socialization, so maybe we should be as patient with others as we are with ourselves. The statute of limitations on homophobia is expiring now as it should but the Eich bruhaha was intemperate and ill-considered as it applies an ex post facto standard.

    The Sterling situation does not. It really isn’t that complicated.

    • Zoloft says:

      Prop 8 campaigners were running awful TV ads saying that part of gay marriage meant that 7 year olds would be taught about homosexuality. Eich financially supported those ads running, and was a younger person living in the Bay Area. He should know better.

      Sterling it is reported now had 100 hours of private conversations illegally recorded and possibly manipulated with edits by someone he was foolishly in love with. (For 1.8 million you can get a lot better than that a 38-year-old blackmailer, foolish love is the logical explanation.) The ethical foundation of the legal principle fruit of the poison tree ought to apply here, and decent people should as best they can ignore this indecent invasion of a person’s privacy.

    • JL says:

      Pretty sure one of the points of “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” was that it shouldn’t be expected of oppressed people to be “patient” with the people oppressing them.

    • JL says:

      Neither did more than half of CA and the USA — are all those people to be permanently ineligible to be in a managerial or supervisory position?

      Notably, Eich has never apologized for the harm that he contributed to, or even disclosed a change of heart on the issue. It’s possible to apologize. It’s possible to learn things you didn’t know before. It’s possible to become a better person. Most of us have done this on some issue over the course of our lives, and quite a few have done it on same-sex marriage in recent years. During the Eich thing, I heard a lot of people saying they’d accept it if he just apologized for his previous position and actions, clarified that he now supports LGBTQ equality, and maybe gave an equivalent monetary contribution to the Trevor Project or some other useful LGBTQ charity. He didn’t do any of those things (which suggests that he still believes in his previous position).

  18. NewishLawyer says:

    I generally support the idea that people should not be terminated for legal and off-work activities.

    This can be tricky for speech and some off-work activities though. Do you want to be known as the guy who employees violentacrez? If you found out that an employee was a major poster to VDare or the Vanguard News Network, can you terminate their employment because it could lead to a hostile work environment under Civil Rights legislation? I’m Jewish, do I have a right as a boss to terminate the employment of someone who posted to a Holocaust denying site?

    I realize there are no easy answers to when private lives interfere with job performance though the questions above are valid.

  19. pitw says:

    It’s going to be an amazing moment tomorrow when Silver admits that the league is powerless to do anything, because any retaliation that the league makes in response to an unverified tape, which, in any case, was illegally made, is legally highly dubious. Beyond the ordinary protections of law, I also suspect there are probably safe guards in the league constitution to protect owners from unfounded suspension.

    I think when this happens the internet will explode.

    • Aimai says:

      There probably aren’t any of the things you are just pretending to believe. I’m pretty sure that the league has ways of “shutting that thing down” if it wants. There is nothing more ruthless and more cut throat than a bunch of wealthy team owners pursuing their own interests. The legality or illegality of the tape has absolutely nothing to do with anything. The cat, as it were, is out of the bag, the milk is spilt, the die is cast, the horse is out of the barn. Bookmark it, libtards.

      • pitw says:

        If Sterling chooses to defend himself in court, the admissibility of the tape as evidence will in fact be highly questionable–given again that it is illegal.

        That progressives believe error has no right, not even the right to privacy, is unsurprising. If the NSA listened on our phone conversations, not to protect us against terrorists, but to make sure our private lives were ideologically pure, and that we didn’t associate with the wrong people, it would be fine, on their theory of privacy.

        • Aimai says:

          Since progressives don’t support the NSA, your argument is nonsensical.

        • Pseudonym says:

          According to Wikipedia, the exclusionary rule does not apply to civil cases, nor to evidence illegally obtained by a private party, aside from which the league is not a court of law in the first place. I would also personally quibble with the notion that there’s an inviolable right to privacy against a party to a conversation revealing the content of that conversation to a third party. Plus the league is facing the question of whether it and the other owners want to continue their association with Sterling; the government is notably uninterested in this. It’s not the fault of progressives that you’re generally and specifically full of shit.

          • politicalfootball says:

            I want to go on the record in my opposition to the NSA’s illegal surveillance of Donald Sterling and a couple of hundred million other people, but I haven’t got a clue what this has to do with the dustup between Sterling and a woman that (Zoloft tells us) Sterling was “foolishly in love with.”

            Zoloft, pitw I know you think you’re all clever and everything, but when you find yourself offering ludicrous arguments in support of a racist, people are going to figure out what your actual agenda is. At best, you may be clever enough to kid yourselves, but other folks aren’t as gullible as you are.

  20. […] of bloggers think so. They say Eich’s defenders are hypocrites to denounce Sterling. Here’s the argument from David […]

  21. […] been though this, but it strikes me as obvious that Eich and especially Sterling are both entirely easy […]

  22. […] Lord Saletan, the most overplaced troll in all the internets, has linked my last post in his latest exercise in indignant outrage on behalf of the extremely powerful and privileged, […]

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