The dust has begun to settle about Donald Sterling and his strange (is there another word?) "girlfriend," V. Stiviano, although one is not sure we know more now than when this episode began. But what lessons can we learn from the spectacle they -- and it is they -- have caused?
If anything, Donald Sterling's problems have cemented this warning for others. We know even private people have turned themselves into instant journalists in the world we live in, and you can't unring the bell of the digital revolution.
Too often a racist is an ignorant person with no particular impact beyond his or her own words; think angry talk show caller. Here, we reconfirm that racist ignorance can be found in high and powerful places; think the guy who owns the radio network.
This is 2014, and as people like LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and even President Barack Obama have said, we cannot tolerate this behavior. And yet, the challenge for recently minted Commissioner Adam Silver is complicated.
An NBA team is a business, but it also carries the imagery of representing that city. Sports and athletes can provide opportunities for positive role modeling and influencing attitudes -- when turned negative, the effects ripple.