So I have come across an article on UK's The Daily Mail, of all the news sources, showing some pretty egregious (recent) behavior by Shaq (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2615765/Shaquille-ONeal-accused-...).
To say it is egregious is pretty much an understatement. This is a professional athlete, someone to whom (in all likelihood) millions of kids/people look up to (including the individual Shaq mocked), mocking an individual with a serious disability. It really is pretty low. Shaq erased the image and later called the individual and apologized (after all the strong criticism he got from his followers...not sure if his apology was actually genuine and if he truly understands how hurtful and ignorant this was) but I have not seen much media backlash about this. I certainly have not seen ESPN covering this.
It just got me thinking about how players and ex-players tend to get passes here and there and whether the hammer should fall just as hard on them. Not that I don't think Sterling's comments were egregious and that he should get all that he deserves, but I feel like players tend to get passes when the slap on the wrist should really sting. I personally feel like Shaq should issue a public apology and the networks that he works as an analyzt for should net out some sort of punishment.
Just some other examples of players, ex-players, getting a pass that come to mind are: Tim Hardaway and his vile anti-gay monologue (Tim was banned from attending an All-Star weekend, but then he apologized and all was hunky dory); John Rocker (the guy got a short suspension but continued to play in MLB in subsequent seasons, even after making comments on par with Sterling, if not worse); Stephen Jackson punching out a fan (he later admitted to enjoying hitting fans); Bonzi Wells taunted white players with racial epithets during numerous games. He was suspended for a day for spitting in the face of San Antonio's Danny Ferry during a game, calling Ferry a "[blanking] honkie" during another game. Golden State's Troy Murphy said Wells called him a "cracker" once; Riley Cooper got a $30,000 fine (a slap on the wrist) after he was video taped saying "I will fight every n***** here." at a country music concert (I sincerely doubt this guy is not racist).
Incidentally, back in 2003 Shaq said "Tell Yao Ming, 'Ching chong yang, wah, ah soh". He said he was just joking. None of my Asian friends were laughing, I'll tell you that much. Shaw apologized and all was well.