Conservative pundit Bill Kristol on Sunday urged people to judge NBA team owner Don Sterling by his “deeds,” and not to “go hysterical over two or three sentences” where he tells his girlfriend to stay away from black men.
On Saturday, gossip website TMZ published an audio recording of Sterling, who owns the L.A. Clippers, telling his girlfriend that she could have sex with African-American men like Lakers legend Magic Johnson as long as she did not post photographs of them on social media or be seen with them in public at NBA games.
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people,” Sterling allegedly told his girlfriend in the 9 minute recording. “Don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.”
Within hours, high-profile personalities like Charles Barkley and Al Sharpton were calling for Sterling to be suspended from his management duties.
But on Sunday, Kristol admitted that Sterling was “bigoted and foolish,” but accused his detractors going “hysterical” over a few sentences.
“I’m a little hesitant to… everyone goes hysterical over two or three sentences, but lets look at the actual deeds of people,” he said. “If people discriminate, it’s against the law, they should be punished.”
“If they say stupid things, private organizations can deal with it — private businesses can fire, I suppose, if they say those things.”
Watch the video below from ABC’s This Week, broadcast April 27, 2014.