By Dakota Smith
Daily News, Los Angeles.
For some women, Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling cuts a complex figure. She’s been married for decades to real estate mogul Donald Sterling, a man whose reputation overseeing the Clippers and hundreds of rental buildings was marred with controversy.
But Shelly Sterling was also a partner in that empire — a constant figure at Clippers’ games at Staples Center — who also was involved in the couple’s apartment business, according to court documents.
Now, Shelly Sterling is fighting to hang on to the basketball team, even as the NBA says she has no rights to the team.
With a legal battle over the Clippers looming, feminists are mixed in their support of Shelly Sterling’s right to challenge the league.
Self-described feminist attorney Gloria Allred questioned the public’s rush to oust Shelly Sterling following a press conference Monday in which she criticized Donald Sterling.
Shelly Sterling may not be personally liked by fans or the players, but many NBA owners are unpopular, Allred said.
“She has every right to fight for the team,” Allred said.
The NBA this week said that if Donald Sterling is pushed out, Shelly Sterling also would lose her interest in the team.
Donald Sterling is a controlling owner of the Clippers, and if his stake is terminated, all other team owners’ interests are terminated, too, NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement late Sunday.
In the latest legal maneuvering since the scandal broke just over two weeks ago, Shelly Sterling’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, challenged the NBA’s position, calling it a “self-serving interpretation of its constitution.”
California laws may also protect Shelly Sterling, O’Donnell said in a statement this week.
Shelly Sterling’s husband of more than 50 years was banned from the NBA following the release of audio on April 25 of the billionaire scolding a female friend, V. Stiviano, for bringing African-Americans to his games and posting photos of herself with African-Americans.