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Donald Sterling Accused of Racism in Elgin Baylor's Wrongful Termination Suit

Jan 7, 2011 – 1:49 PM
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Michael Katz

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Donald SterlingClippers owner Donald Sterling has earned his reputation for being a racist slumlord by -- among other things -- paying millions to make lawsuits alleging housing discrimination disappear. He's earned his reputation for being a terrible and greedy owner by disparaging his own players in the locker room and on the court, and refusing to pony up the bucks to retain talented players.

As you can see, it is well-documented that Sterling is a jerk. Now more details about Sterling have emerged from former Clipper GM Elgin Baylor's wrongful termination suit against Sterling, obtained by ESPN's J.A. Adande. And while nothing here is terribly surprising, given Sterling's history, the details are shocking -- especially the part about his behavior in the locker room:

"While ignoring my suggestions and isolating me from decisions customarily reserved for general managers, the Clippers attempted to place the blame for the team's failures on me," Baylor said in the declaration. "During this same period, players Sam Cassell, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette complained to me that DONALD STERLING would bring women into the locker room after games, while the players were showering, and make comments such as, 'Look at those beautiful black bodies.' I brought this to Sterling's attention, but he continued to bring women into the locker room."

To repeat: Donald Sterling brought women into the locker room after games to admire his player's "Beautiful black bodies." Um ... you should not do that. As Eric Freeman astutely pointed out over a Ball Don't Lie article this is basically as close as you can get to the "Plantation mentality," which Baylor has previously accused Sterling of fostering within the organization.

It's important to remember that this is a lawsuit prepared by Elgin Baylor's lawyers in a case against Sterling. These are alleged actions. But this is also far from a first offense. It's hard to argue Sterling deserves much benefit of the doubt.

Now the question becomes what will Sterling have to do to be forced out in Los Angeles? Regardless of the outcome of this case, it seems like it's long past time.
Filed under: Sports