What a case!

Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers has been forced out of his property as of about 2:37pm the 29th of April, 2014. According to the HuffingtonPost who tracked the case http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/29/donald-sterling-nba-banned-life-fine_n_5234243.html, and Adam Silver, the Commissioner of the NBA, Donal Sterling has been forcibly removed as owner of the LA Clippers for his racist remarks about African-Americans and Mexican-Americans in a conversation that was taped with his girlfriend.

According to the same article, and quoted by Adam Silver, Donald Sterling is:

  • Sterling is banned for life from the NBA.
  • Sterling will pay a fine of $2.5 million.
  • Silver will attempt to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.

Further, Silver has banned Sterling from having any affiliation with the LA Clippers or its affiliated actions as a result. This case has also brought to light other discriminatory and illegal actions taken by Sterling against minority populations.

Now, how did this go wrong for Sterling? Sterling has had an immensely poor PR case built against him, while the media has essentially taken an advertising campaign out against him as soon as that phone conversation was leaked. We, as individuals underestimate what PR (public relations) and advertising actually are in our lives and how we contribute to making these machines work.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary Online, one of the definitions for advertise is to “publicize information about.” Public Relations, defined by the same source is “the professional maintenance of a favourable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.” If we take a look at these definitions and how we as a public have contributed to the actions taken to remove Donald Sterling as an active owner of the LA Clippers, it should be recognized that we all take part in the advertising world.

The media ran a strong advertising campaign against Sterling, based on his racial inclinations, not using paid advertisements, but blog posts and replaying that clip over every major news channel. The public relations team working for Sterling was non-existant in the face of the advertising campaign that the world took against his racist attitude.

In summary: everything you say contributes to the public relations world we live in.

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