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The Almighty Buck News

The Ethics Cloud Over Ballmer's $2 Billion B-Ball Buy 398

Posted by samzenpus
from the dirty-money dept.
theodp (442580) writes '"It is hard to imagine any more heinous way of earning money than by benefiting from racism," writes Rick Cohen, who argues that Donald Sterling and the NBA owners are being unjustly enriched by Sterling's racism, which led to the $2 billion sale of the L.A. Clippers to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, a record-high sum for an NBA team. "Indeed, the only losers in the Sterling affair are the players," adds the NY Times. "What held promise as a possible D-Day in the N.B.A., a day when N.B.A. owners stood up to be counted and voted Donald Sterling out of the league, instead turned into a great day for the status quo." Forbes contributor Robert Wood speculates that if he plays his cards right, Sterling's windfall could be tax-free.'
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The Ethics Cloud Over Ballmer's $2 Billion B-Ball Buy

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  • pishaw (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:11AM (#47178237)

    Ethics? Ethics in the corporate world is what gets you the most cash. The corporate assholes live in a scruple-free culture.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:12AM (#47178247)

    Is it that he's being paid a market price for his team? How could it have been otherwise?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:13AM (#47178255)

    Here's Slashdot cheering the thought police. The man was baited into saying something in a private phone call. Where are our privacy champions now? What a bunch of frauds. We cheer Snowden because the media tells us to, but then champion spying on someone because the media tells us to.

  • Wut?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:15AM (#47178275)

    What an incredibly stupid thing to post on Slashdot. the ONLY link to technology is Ballmer's name.

  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:15AM (#47178277) Homepage Journal
    that no matter what, ** SOMEONE ** is gonna bitch about ** SOMETHING ** no matter what happened. Can't please all the people all the time.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:17AM (#47178287)

    He has an opinion that liberals don't like so they think that they should be able to take his property from him without providing compensation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:18AM (#47178295)

    The NBA should cancel the team's franchise.
    Cancel ALL the contracts of the players and put them into the draft pool.
    The worst team could get Blake Griffin.
    The Lakers would like to be the only team in town again.
    Sterling gets NOTHING, the NBA would have to defend itself.
    The other owners would not like the precedent of losing a franchise.
    That would send a clear and harsh message.
    Anything else is just decoration for the masses.

  • nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JeffSh (71237) <jeffslashdot AT m0m0 DOT org> on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:19AM (#47178299)

    Sterling never did anything illegal, he was just an old biggoted man. There exists no punishment society can inflict on him beyond personal actions like boycotting or just not liking him... So what gives? Why do people think that he can be robbed of an asset for being a biggot?

    He has first amendment protections to be as big of a douchebag as he wants. His privacy was violated by his mistress and he was doing nothing illegal. The NBA has no grounds to force him out or deny him profit from the sale of an asset he shouldn't be forced to sell.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:25AM (#47178339) Homepage Journal

    I'm pretty sick and tired of this crusade against capitalism all over the world, where anyone who makes a lot of money is either evil, unethical, or oppressive to his employees.

    And I'm sick of how statistically speaking, anyone who makes a lot of money is either evil, unethical, or oppressive to his employees.

  • by just_a_monkey (1004343) on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:36AM (#47178407)

    We ought to outlaw selfishness. Everyone should always work towards the common good.

  • Think harder Rick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PsyMan (2702529) on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:39AM (#47178423)
    '"It is hard to imagine any more heinous way of earning money than by benefiting from racism," ... Well, lets think, you could run a child prostitution ring, child slavery, people trafficking, run a pharmacutical firm/country that denies poorer people medicine or be a banker. Not hard to imagine at all. (not sure what the rest of the summary was about as I did not read it.
  • Re:nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Threni (635302) on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:40AM (#47178429)

    Isn't `bring the game into disrepute` a reason? It's their rules...they can have any clause they like. He might not mind not caring what people think of his outdated mentality, but the sport suffers if people boycott it, or if it's embarrassing to have to admit you are involved with it, if for no other reason.

  • by NotDrWho (3543773) on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:42AM (#47178437)

    Yeah, but privacy and free speech and all that only applies if you're saying politically-correct stuff. The second you say "nigger" or even mildly criticize some protected group YOU MUST BE DESTROYED!!!!!

  • by fredprado (2569351) on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:46AM (#47178463)
    Sure. In your dystopic society where people can only think what you want them to think that is how things work. Fortunately in the real world things are not that bad, yet...
  • Re:nonsense (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:47AM (#47178465)

    Illegality only applies to what the government can do to him.
    What the NBA can do to him is a matter of contract law.

    But what society can do to him is pretty much arbitrary. This is all about society's judgment of him and that's fair - the value of the team is 100% a function of public approval. You didn't hear him complaining when public approval resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of income for him so, live by the sword die by the sword.

  • by flappinbooger (574405) on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:54AM (#47178517) Homepage

    bear in mind this man is guilty of nothing more than saying something politically incorrect within the privacy of his own house.

    What happened here? 1984 much?

  • by fredprado (2569351) on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:56AM (#47178521)
    Crony capitalism only exists when there is a big government to buy. Even more, the bigger and stronger the government is the "cronier" capitalism becomes. The only real way to fight crony capitalism is by decreasing government size and scope.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:56AM (#47178523)
    Also, I don't think he's "earning money than by benefiting from racism" (I realize that doesn't make grammatical sense). He's earning money off a basketball team which is comprised mostly (completely?) of black men while at the same time being a racist. He's actually making money because the majority of the operation isn't racist and has the best players it can get, who happen to be black. Making money from racism would be more akin to owning a golf course, and having a bunch of black caddies and paying them peanuts because they had no other options. Paying a bunch of people millions of dollars to play a sport and are treated as royal by their fans and the general public is hardly the worst thing somebody could do.
  • by LordKronos (470910) on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:56AM (#47178525) Homepage

    Exactly. I don't get all of the talk about how this is a reward. He could have sold the team at any time of his choosing. The price he got isn't because of his racist remarks. It's because there are so few teams available, they don't often come up for sale, and as teams go, the Clippers is actually a pretty highly ranked team. If anything, forcing him to sell actually is a punishment, even at $2 billion. He bought the team for $12.5m 33 years ago. Now it's worth $2b. That works out to an average annual return of almost 17%. It's virtually impossible to find an investment that gives those sort of returns over the long term. When you actually do have one, you'd want to hold onto it as long as possible (unless you have reason to believe its value is about to tank). Forcing him to sell such a fast growing asset is indeed punishment.

  • Re:pishaw (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Friday June 06, 2014 @09:20AM (#47178675) Homepage Journal

    Ethics on Slashdot? No one questions that someone was banned for life and was forced to forfeit his property because of something he said in a private conversation that was recorded and published without his permission.

    If you are not outraged by this then please do not bother ever complaining about privacy.

    Remember racism is not illegal. Discrimination based on race in the workplace is.

    BTW I do not like racism at all but this is just too weird for words.

  • by fredprado (2569351) on Friday June 06, 2014 @09:22AM (#47178689)
    Rich people are not "harming" anybody. Much on the contrary. Someone with employees is providing the employees jobs that otherwise wouldn't exist. He can "screw them over" and they can decide to go elsewhere. That is how a free society works.

    On the other hand if you increase government powers, those same employees can be "screwed over" without any chance to defend themselves under the threat of force. And even worse this force can be bought by those rich guys.

    So if you want to prevent damage from being done you should defend that governments should be as small as possible and that violence and coercion, which are the tools of any government, should be kept at a minimum.
  • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Friday June 06, 2014 @09:47AM (#47178905) Journal

    Privacy and free speech apply to government entities, not to ex girlfriends and basketball associations.

    Privacy means that what you do with another person should remain between you two, so long as both of you keep it as such

    . All bets are off when one of the individuals involved in the private activity decide to disclose what happened. The moral here is to better choose who you decide to associate with in private.

    Free speech doesn't mean that you can say anything you want without consequence - it means that the government cannot be the one to bring about those consequences. Public shaming and ostracization are perfectly OK. In this case, it also happens that the statements ran afoul of NBA policy, which Sterling agreed to when be purchased the team in the first place.

    Sterling isn't serving any jail time, and he's getting a giant return on investment. I don't see why the right is to up in arms over the outcome. Sterling probably got more money for the sale of the team now (due to the expediency everyone else felt to buy the team out from under him) than he probably would have putting it up for sale on his own before the controversy.

  • by NotDrWho (3543773) on Friday June 06, 2014 @09:53AM (#47178955)

    Privacy and free speech apply to government entities, not to ex girlfriends and basketball associations.

    So I guess you'd be cool with it if the NBA choose to enact a "No Homosexual Players Allowed" policy? After all, they're a private organization and don't have to respect anyone's legal rights, right?

  • Re:pishaw (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stuarticus (1205322) on Friday June 06, 2014 @11:26AM (#47179833)
    The either/or is a huge false dichotomy. Maybe you should consider what 100% "living for yourself" would actually entail?
  • by SensitiveMale (155605) on Friday June 06, 2014 @11:34AM (#47179913)

    Yeah, but privacy and free speech and all that only applies if you're saying politically-correct stuff. The second you say "nigger" or even mildly criticize some protected group YOU MUST BE DESTROYED!!!!!

    That's the odd thing. Sterling didn't even use a slur.From what I understood of the tape, he didn't even have a problem with minorities. He told his girlfriend that she could sleep with anyone she wanted. Again, no slurs. Just don't brag about her boyfriends on Instragram or bring them to the game in public.

    He didn't tell his ticket sellers not to sell to minorities. He didn't use any slurs. He employed, from what I understand was a general consensus, the worst GM in the NBA for over 20 years who happened to be a minority. He hired a minority coach.

    He was illegally recorded and punished for something he said in the privacy of his own home, not for something he did. Not to mention he was goaded. Listen to the tape. She knew what she wanted him to say and she kept at it until he said it.

    This is very scary stuff because there isn't one person alive who wouldn't be ostracized, using this ruler, if a select one minute of their private speech was made public.

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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