SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The response to the public release of audiotapes in which a man said to be Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, making racist remarks aimed at African Americans exploded around the world of sports and beyond over the weekend.
Sterling is one the longest-tenured owners in the NBA—he’s owned the Clippers for over thirty years—and Madden is curious why it has come as such a surprise.
“Why are they just finding it out now? Wouldn’t you think that they would have known it and done something about it?” he said.
The list of racist and boorish owners of sports franchises is too long mention and Madden said he would like to see something done about it.
“The only people in the game that don’t have to have any experience are the owners. The coach, the assistant coach—they are all experienced; they come up through the ranks,” he said.
“The trainer is an experienced trainer, the teams’ doctors are experienced, (and) the equipment man is experienced. Everyone is experienced. The only guy that doesn’t have to have any experience to get in is the owner—all he has to do is buy his way in.”
Madden that better background checks need to be done.
“They have to not let these types of people in. They have to get rid of them when they find out things and these owners have to realize that all they are is the custodian of the franchise and they are custodian of the history of the franchise,” he said.
“If you don’t have experience, you should have to have some education.”
Madden said he doesn’t know if this incident will lead to changes in the way franchise owners are chosen; for instance, giving players a great role in the process. Currently the process is comparable a secret vote at the country club.
“We have cases all over the place where it’s like, ‘did you peel back that onion a little or did you just take the money and say, ‘sold!’” he said.
Madden said the NBA has to resolve the issue quickly so that the teams and playoffs can have a chance.
“I don’t think this is one of the things they can let sit out for a long time.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on Saturday they would “move extraordinarily quickly” in their investigation.
“I think ‘extraordinarily quickly’ means today or tomorrow. I mean, I don’t think we can go on with this,” Madden said.
Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.