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Shelly Sterling keeping a role with the Clippers is a problem

The ex-wife of deposed Clippers owner Donald Sterling managed to maintain a healthy ceremonial role with the team under Steve Ballmer despite her own history of racist behavior. This shouldn't be happening.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In exchange for her cooperation for moving the Clippers' sale along, Shelly Sterling, the wife of deposed owner Donald Sterling, will receive a fancy title under new owner Steve Ballmer, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell.

That title isn't just ceremonial, though. In fact, her involvement is much deeper.

Editor's Note: The charitable foundation piece of that tweet is actually untrue, and the story has been changed to reflect that.

That Shelly Sterling is remaining a part of the organization isn't a surprise. There was an expectation that she'd end up maintaining her seats and even having some sort of ceremonial role throughout the process. But giving all this is more than was expected.

And it's really troubling because Shelly Sterling was often an accomplice to Donald Sterling's deplorable behavior. She often worked in tandem with her ex-husband, posing as a health inspector to illegally enter tenants' apartments. She's also been caught uttering racist remarks to her tenants over the past decade, as Deadspin and the Los Angeles Times detailed. One building manager suggested in 2004 that she wanted to force out certain ethnicities if they had children because they "didn't fit the image." Another testified in 2009 that she said Latinos were "filthy."

These are lesser transgressions to Donald Sterling's, but they are transgressions nonetheless. A just ending would involve both Sterlings leaving the Clippers forever. While it's excellent that Donald Sterling is out of power, it's a problem that Shelly Sterling is maintaining such a large ceremonial role despite having blood on her hands.


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