Housing claims hit NBA owner after life ban for racist remarks
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing
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Donald Sterling, the troubled owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, has been banned from the NBA for life after making racist comments. Now accusations have emerged that the 80-year-old real estate magnate operated racist housing practices as well.
The life ban by NBA commissioner Adam Silver came after a recording of Sterling's private remarks caused outrage across the United States, with Sterling's own players staging a protest before the playoffs. Sterling will now have to sell his interest in the team.
The BBC reported that Sterling was recorded asking a woman not to associate in public with black people nor bring them to games. While not denying it was his voice on the tape, Sterling said the recording "does not reflect his views". Celebrity news website TMZ first revealed the existence of the audiotape.
But has he got form? American website Thinkprogress.org said "the uprising against Sterling has provoked questions about why the NBA didn’t take action against him - and why NBA superstars didn’t speak out against him - before, given that Sterling has been the subject of two multimillion-dollar housing discrimination suits related to property he owns in Los Angeles".
The website said those lawsuits claimed Sterling refused to rent apartments to black and Latino tenants.
The article by Travis Waldron adds that, regardless of Sterling's specific situation, "discrimination pervades the entire housing industry, and discrimination in the initial loan process leads to discrimination in every other aspect of housing.
"The most obvious housing discrimination practice from banks and lenders is a process known as redlining, named as it is because lenders draw 'red lines' around certain neighborhoods - often predominately low-income and minority - where they don’t want to offer mortgage services."