Many people today are comparing Clippers owner Donald Sterling to former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott, who was banned from running the team in 1996 after several racist comments. Sterling is alleged to have made racist comments on a tape leaked to the website TMZ over the weekend.
Former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent says there is no comparison — Sterling is worse than Schott.
"What she said was egregious, but what he said was probably worse," Vincent, 75, told Bloomberg News. "There's a question of where you draw the line. In this case with what this guy did and probably in Marge Schott's case, you're well over the line."
So what should the NBA do in this case?
"You have to start with the proposition that the commissioner works for the owners, and for him to be disciplining the owners is a very awkward circumstance," Vincent said.
Schott was suspended in May 1996 after saying that Adolf Hitler "was good at the beginning, but he just went too far." Those comments came on the heels of previous racist comments Schott had made. Schott apologized, but Commissioner Bud Selig forced her to give up operation of the franchise. Schott sold the team after the 1998 season.
"They made it clear to her that she had to sell," Vincent said. "I wasn't involved, but my recollection is that they pushed her out."