What if in 1981, when Sterling first bought into the league, the NBA commissioner had been African-American? Would a black NBA commissioner have specially sensed exactly who Sterling was? It could have happened.
The appropriate course of action is for Sterling and the NBA to reach a settlement whereby Sterling agrees to put the team in the hands of a to-be-formed public trust. And, yes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar should be in charge.
That's precisely why racism holds on within America. In the privacy of our homes, clubs, and offices -- and in the tradeoff of philanthropy and what we perceive as the greater good -- we ignore our values, dismiss and rationalize them.
I have long known these feelings to be irrational. I could bore you with stories from childhood and upbringing that would make them a little more understandable but they wouldn't make them any more excusable.