Even if he loses, he'll reap a windfall of profit. He bought the Clippers for $12 million in 1981; the team is worth an estimated $575 million today.
One of the most disturbing aspects of Sterling's comments is that they came from an NBA owner, a man who has made millions of dollars from an industry where most of the performers are black. The league's players banded together in the aftermath of Sterling's comments to insist that the league severely punish the owner.
The NBA has a huge following of minority fans and has set the pace among U.S. professionals sports leagues in hiring of African-Americans for management and leadership positions.
If racism, bigotry and prejudice are harbored by an NBA owner, it indicates the nefarious presence of such perspectives in other aspects of American life.
We all must fight complacency and complicity in reacting to discrimination. Silent disapproval isn't enough. Until we drag the Donald Sterlings of our country into the light of public scrutiny, we are far from arriving in a post-racial era.