Short analysis: “GOOD!“
Longer analysis: The Boston Celtics suspended coach Ime Udoka, widely credited with engineering the team’s surprising turn-around this past NBA season, making the play-offs and making the NBA finals after wandering in the pro basketball wilderness for the previous 12 years. He will sit out the 2022-23 season after it was determined that Udoka had a sexual relationship with a female member of the Celtics staff. The Celtics say that a decision about Udoka’s future with the team will be made later.
Conservative media, especially conservative sports reporters, are already embarrassing themselves with attacks on the Celtics decision. “Boston Celtics, this is insane” commented the Citizen Free Press, which has been stealing The Drudge Report’s traffic since Matt Drudge went NeverTrump. On the other side of The Great Divide I will expect to read fan comments that the Celtics punishment is racist. Udoka was part of last season’s NBA rush to hire black head coaches, including several who had been assistants for many years, and the league is dominated by black players, partially explaining the NBA’s total capitulation to “Black Lives Matter” agitprop. Naturally, it had to jump on the “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion” bandwagon, but the league’s lack of black leadership in contrast with its demographics on the court was already hard to justify.
If anything, the Celtics were too lenient. The NBA had to send an unequivocal message as teams increasingly hire women in staff positions other than secretary and cheerleader. The prospect of sexual predation with NBA players on the scene—they lead professional sports in random offspring from multiple non-wives—is obvious; coaches and management had to be unequivocal: an organization is not a dating bar.
Several non-sports companies that have dealt with this issue in the executive offices fired the miscreants, most recently McDonalds. Even before the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Boeing fired its president and chief executive officer, Harry Stonecipher, after he admitted having an affair with a female company executive. More recently, a sexual affair with a CNN executive under him (stop it) led to the demise of CNN head Jeff Zucker. Democratic Congresswoman Katie Hill had to resign after she had an sexual affairs with a couple of staff members.
It is organizational incest, potentially destructive to morale and performance, a breach of leadership trust, demonstrating the ethical instincts of Bill Clinton. Of course Udoka should have been suspended.
Meanwhile, the NBA, like the NFL, has again demonstrated this month what a fine group of men they present to the culture as leaders, heroes and role-models. This week, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards was fined $40,000 for making homophobic remarks in a post on Instagram, where he has more than 1 million followers. Last week, the NBA said an investigation showed a long pattern of inappropriate behavior by Robert Sarver, the majority owner of the Phoenix Suns and the WNBA.’s Phoenix Mercury. Sarver had used racial slurs and discriminated against female employees unfairly over more than a decade. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined Sarver $10 million — the maximum permitted — and suspended him for a year. Sarver announced Wednesday that he plans to sell both teams.
No institutions, companies or organizations are more prone to apply “The King’s Pass,” Rationalization #11 [“…This pass for bad behavior is as insidious as it is pervasive, and should be recognized and rejected whenever it raises its slimy head. In fact, the more respectable and accomplished an individual is, the more damage he or she can do through unethical conduct, because such individuals engender great trust. Thus the corrupting influence on the individual of The King’s Pass leads to the corruption of others…]. By appropriately disciplining a successful coach, the Boston Celtics break the mold.