Donald Sterling scandal sparks issues on the First Amendment

This week’s news has been dominated by the Donald Sterling scandal. In case you are the only person in America who hasn’t heard about the racist comments by professional basketball’s owner of the L.A. Clippers, he made colorful comments that resulted in him being banned from the NBA and potentially the loss of his team by the Board of Governors forcing him to sell the team.

While I am outraged that a public figure and role model would be so irresponsible in his choice of words, I don’t agree that he should be stripped of his property. Fans can put economic pressure on him to affect a sale – that is the way free enterprise works. Players can choose not to play for his team, affecting his bottom line. But I want to live in a country where I enjoy free speech without worry of reprisal by the government or some governing body. I admit, I may be an idealist living in Utopia.

I believe we have to live with the consequences of our actions. I just believe that those consequences should be imposed by the court of public opinion rather than a governing body who can strip Sterling of his property rights without some sort of due process. I can’t imagine life monitored by some Big Brother who overhears my private conversations, thoughts and opinions. I should be free to have an opinion or thought, and if I don’t break any laws and I don’t harm anyone’s safety, I should be protected from the  loss of my freedom, life or property by my Freedom of Speech. Even reprehensible people have basic liberties and freedoms in the United States. Marc Cuban said it best “In America, people are allowed to be morons.”

Do you think he should lose his team for his private thoughts and conversations?