Donald Sterling should not be forced to sell the Los Angeles Clippers despite his lifetime ban from the NBA for making racist remarks, leading sports agent Ari Fleischer says.
Fleischer, president of Ari Fleischer Sports Communications and former press secretary to President George W. Bush, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV that Clippers fans and players should be the ultimate judges.
"Let marketplaces settle ownership issues and if you have a product and all of a sudden your workers go on strike, well that's going to affect the value of your product," Fleischer said.
"It's going to affect your decisions as an owner, or maybe you just decide, I'm going to sell the team because I don't want the headache, or sell the company or the business.
"That's a legitimate part of a marketplace activity. What to me is not legitimate is compelling a person to sell property, sell a club that they own the rights to."
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He said the fate of Sterling, who was heard in a phone conversation telling his girlfriend she should not bring blacks to Clippers games, comes down to due process.
"I just don't think people can be compelled to sell something that is legitimately their property, even if they're a moron," Fleischer said.
He added that he supports the ban and maximum fine of $2.5 million fine the NBA gave Sterling.
"[The] NBA is an organization that you voluntarily belong as an owner and they have every right under their rules and American law to throw you out if they don't want you in their club," he said.
"What I drew the line at right from the start was I don't care what size moron you are – and he's a pretty extra-large moron – nobody in America has the right to be compelled to sell their private property because they offended somebody else."
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