The original call should have been illegal offense before the squeaky clean NBA elite began posting up to the nearest camera in order to condemn Clipper’s owner, Donald Sterling.
Newly minted commissioner Silver’s post-haste “ready, fire, aim” reaction was clearly in contrast to the higher ranking second US President and founding father John Adams who said, “We are a nation of laws and not men.”
As vile and contemptible as one may view Sterling, the method of his undoing was illegal and therefore unusable beyond the court of public opinion, which has already ruled and has no appeal apparatus. California law forbids surreptitiously recording private conversations in private places, otherwise known as Intrusion on Seclusion.
If we are, as Adams suggests, a “nation of laws”, then Sterling’s comments are inadmissible in legal proceedings because of what is know in the law as the “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine” or more formally, the Exclusionary Rule. This concept says that anything obtained illegally cannot be used to further a cause or to make a case, even if it leads to otherwise legal evidence. This obviously necessary rule discourages illegal behaviors in order to prosecute other illegal acts; the technical version of two wrongs don’t make a right.
What a just outcome we can expect. Sterling remains; mixed into the primordial goo that is the NBA culture of violence, gangs, profanity through rap and criminality. What perfect bedfellows, Sterling and this bunch of thugs. Years of litigation and millions spend on high-profile trail lawyers will yield a prevailing Sterling, very likely dead by the time this is all over. Those holier-than-thou left standing will be lining up to break-dance on his grave.