Shelly Sterling is not giving up the Los Angeles Clippers without a fight. She is even taking the battle for her team a step further, accusing the NBA of being sexist.
NBA spokesperson Mike Bass recently issued this statement in regards to her ownership stake, "Under the NBA Constitution, if a controlling owner's interest is terminated by a 3/4 vote, all other team owners' interests are automatically terminated as well. It doesn't matter whether the owners are related as is the case here. These are the rules to which all NBA owners agreed to as a condition of owning their team." Therefore, Mrs. Sterling would be removed along with her husband, according to the NBA.
Mrs. Sterling did not take kindly to the NBA's decision, and plans to fight it in court if need be. She went on to take issue with the NBA's reasoning, implying that this is a sexist decision: "I will fight that decision," Shelly Sterling said in an interview on Today, "To be honest with you, I'm wondering if a wife of one of the owners, and there's 30 owners, did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband? Or would they leave the husband in?"
Mrs. Sterling is one of just a handful of women with any kind of stake in the league, as the primary owners of all the other teams are men. (Jeanie Buss co-owns the Lakers through the family trust founded by her late father.) What is more, she has been estranged from Donald Sterling for at least the last year. Their relationship is not exactly rock solid, nor do they make public decisions or appearances as a couple. It seems their marriage is more for the sake of the Sterling Family Trust.
She went on to tell NBC's Savannah Guthrie, "Why am I the victim when he’s the perpetrator? If somebody kills somebody, does the wife have to stand trial too?” Perhaps not, but if your husband does go on a recorded racist rant, you just might.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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