Jovian Lien, a reporter for Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show, was the first and possibly only voice offering a defense for Donald Sterling at Tuesday’s NBA press conference by asking the commissioner if it was a “slippery slope” to punish him for racist comments.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced at the Tuesday press conference that Sterling had been banned from the league for life, and would be fined $2.5 million after audio tape emerged of the billionaire allegedly telling his girlfriend not to bring African-Americans to his basketball games.
Following those announcements, Silver invited questions from reporters.
Many journalists, like Inside Edition‘s Lisa Guerrero, wanted to know why the NBA had not acted sooner. Others wanted to know how quickly league owners could force Sterling to sell the LA Clippers.
But Lien became the first to offer what sounded like a defense of the accused racist.
“Should someone lose their team for remarks shared in private?” she asked. “Is this a slippery slope?”
“Whether or not these remarks were initially shared in private, they are now public,” Silver explained. “And they represent his views.”
Note: The Fox reporter was erroneously identified as Jo Ling Kent in a previous version of this story.
Watch the video below from Fox News, broadcast April 29, 2014.