But severing ties is never that easy, not from someone who owned the team for so long.
Especially when his wife – Shelly Sterling, who has her own disturbing history of racism allegations – not only has contractually binding ties to the team, but also publicly asserts the team will always belong to herself and Donald.
As part of her sale of the team to Steve Ballmer, she negotiated a two-year contract for her son-in-law, Eric Miller (who was well respected in the organization for his work). Andy Roeser, Donald’s right-hand man who took an indefinite leave of absence shortly after the scandal broke, also still technically held a position with the franchise.
Ballmer said Eric Miller, who was director of basketball administration, departed even though he was entitled to two-year employment “on substantially similar terms” to his previous arrangement under Sterling, according to terms of the $2-billion sale of the Clippers from the Sterling family trust to the former Microsoft executive.
“We welcomed Eric back,” Ballmer said during an interview at the team’s practice facility in Playa Vista. “He’s chosen to move on with his life and that’s his prerogative.”
Former Clippers president Andy Roeser, who was placed on an indefinite leave of absence after defending Sterling in the wake of TMZ releasing audiotapes in which Sterling told a female friend not to bring blacks to games at Staples Center, has also permanently left the organization, according to a team source.
Miller and Roeser deserve chances to move on. Having close ties to a racist does not make them racist by association. Both should get a fair shake to establish their own credibility, whatever that may be.
That wasn’t going to happen with the Clippers.
This is better for everyone.