Quick Action, a Decade Too Late

by Dan Ward

Kudos to the Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi for calling out the NBA on its response to Los Angeles Clippers Owner Donald Sterling’s racist rant.

A lifetime ban is an exceptionally strong response.  But why did it take so long?  As Bianchi points out, the NBA has had ample evidence of Sterling’s racist views for years.

It took public shaming by TMZ to force the NBA’s hand, and there’s a lesson here for those of us who work in public relations.  If you see a problem, the time to address it is now.

We’re supposed to be the conscience of our organizations.  Who served that role for the NBA?  By not taking action years ago, the NBA and its team owners are going to face some hard questions over the next few weeks.  Are they taking action because it’s the right thing to do, or because media attention makes action necessary?

Hoping a problem will go away is not a PR strategy.  Solving it is.

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