• Lauren Bloom is an interfaith minister and attorney who focuses on professional and personal integrity. Her career has been devoted to helping business professionals earn and maintain the trust of their clients, cutomers, colleagues and associates. An internationally-recognized expert on business and professional ethics, Lauren has appeared as a keynote speaker across North America and in Europe.

    Lauren lives in Springfield, Virginia outside of Washington, D.C.

  • From Donald Sterling, “I’m Sorry” Was Too Little, Too Late

    Posted on by smartauthorsites

    It’s hard to imagine how Donald Sterling, former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, could have disgraced himself any more deeply after recordings of appallingly racist remarks he made in a conversation with a friend came to light.  There’s unpleasant, there’s nasty, there’s “I can’t believe anything that vicious actually came out of the man’s mouth,” and he managed to exceed even that.  Those comments, including a personal attack on superstar Magic Johnson, literally left me speechless, and led the NBA to fine Mr. Sterling $2.5 million and ban him from basketball for life.

    I haven’t written about Mr. Sterling’s initial diatribe before now because it took place in a private conversation.  Disgusting as his remarks were, I’ll admit to struggling some with the ethics of criticizing him for comments that he never intended to see the light of day.  Nonetheless, Mr. Sterling’s non-apology during an interview with Anderson Cooper has taken me off the fence.  He did the old “sorry if I offended” dance (gee, Mr. Anderson, ya think?), argued that 35 years in basketball should somehow counterbalance his comments, and blamed the whole thing on his friend, as if she put those hateful words in his mouth by “baiting” him.  From what he said, Mr. Sterling isn’t sorry – he just wants to keep the team.  It was an appalling performance that, to me, demonstrated that he doesn’t get it and probably never will.

    Unlike many mothers, I don’t necessarily believe that every famous human being on the planet has to be an ideal role model for small children.  However, both the law and common decency require employers to protect their employees from virulent racism, and that applies to sports teams as well as corporations.  I believe that the NBA has an obligation to protect the Clippers from Donald Sterling.  If he truly wants to make amends, he should sell the team and let his suspension stand.


    This entry was posted in Apologies, business communications, Business Ethics, corporate responsibility, ethics, Lauren Recommends, Personal Ethics, Risk Management, Social Ethics, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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    • “This splendid little book not only contains much of practical value (I was personally helped by it), it will encourage the development of such virtues as honesty and humility and that is no small gift.”

      --Rabbi Harold Kushner, author,
      When Bad Things Happen to Good People.

    © 2014 Lauren Bloom, J.D., LL.M. All Rights Reserved.

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