Face the Nation Transcripts May 4, 2014: Garcetti, Graham, Williams


(CBS News) Below is a transcript from the May 4, 2014 edition of Face the Nation. Guests included Eric Garcetti, Richard Williams, Lindsay Graham, Clarissa Ward, James Brown, William Rhoden, Ruth Marcus, Michael Eric Dyson, Michele Norris, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And good morning, again. Well, there are new developments in the Donald Sterling controversy and they are positive ones for a team that's trying to put this scandal behind them. Last night, the NBA announced they were starting the search for a new CEO and Sterling's wife, Shellie, issued a statement expressing her support for the NBA's punishment and their takeover of the Clippers.

Miss Sterling is the co-owner of the team. There is no comment so far from Sterling who has remained out of sight except to tell the magazine, Du Jour, "I wish I had just paid her off." He is, of course, referring to his associate V. Stiviano who he made the racist remarks to. Miss Stiviano sat down with ABC News' Barbara Walters for an interview that aired Friday.


BOB SCHIEFFER: The Clippers, meantime, defeated the Golden State Warriors last night and advanced to the next round of the NBA playoffs. And we begin this morning with the mayor of Los Angeles-- Eric Garcetti. I guess I'd ask you first, Mr. Mayor, your reaction to Shellie Sterling's statement.

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI: Well, we're proud of this league, prouder perhaps of the Clippers last night after a great victory. But I'm very proud of this country, and certainly support what that statement represents. I think all of us recognize that the kind of wildfire racism in America has been put out, but there's smothering embers. And this is an example of it. And to speak out with one voice forcefully and the move towards the transition and a takeover of this team is all about, you know, restoring Los Angeles to what this city represents, diversity, tolerance and the fight against racism.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, do you have any idea what Sterling himself is going to do? He's saying nothing. Do you think he's going to try to fight this?

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI: My sense is that he will. I don't believe that he thinks they will impose the sort of penalties that they've said that they will. I spoke with him a few days ago, urged him to apologize to my city and our city which he says he loves and to move towards transitioning the team and restoring, you know, the luster of a team that has Los Angeles on its jersey.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, what if he does fight this thing? What will you, as the mayor, do?

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI: I'll continue the pressure, to look at the fans, the sponsors, the players to try to help Don Sterling move forward. I think he needs to recognize what he said, what's in his heart. But Los Angeles is not represented by those statements. I mean, we're at a place that has Jackie Robinson, that had Magic Johnson, Jason Collins comes from Los Angeles. We've always pushed forward to the life of tolerance and Don Sterling certainly doesn't represent my city.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, when you talked to him, what did he tell you? Can you share that with us?

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI: Well, I think that he thinks that he's going to be the owner for a long time, that he wants to stay the owner. And I said, "This will be a long, protracted fight and a painful thing for our city that is a great city, great American city." America stood up against the racist remarks that we heard, and I think it was a brave step forward for the country. He needs to be a part of that healing. To fight this for a long time only means the value of the team goes down. But more importantly, the debate rages on forever and I think we need to put an end to it.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, did you get any sense that he knows he fouled up here? Does he have any sense of remorse? Or what is his attitude?

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI: I think he believes in his heart that he's a very good person. And as I said to him, "Nobody is so simple that we only do good things or only bad things." Clearly there's good organizations he's given to in the past. There's things that he's done of a civic nature.

But these statements are what they are. To say that you don't want somebody's black friends coming to a basketball game, a league with 70% African-American in the most diverse city on the face of the earth, the most welcoming place probably in human history, is just incongruous with who we are as Americans and certainly as Angelinos.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, do you think he understands how all this came off? I mean, is he living in some world that nobody else knows about?

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI: I think it's a very good description. I think he is very proud of his journey. It's kind of part of the American dream to come from nothing into (UNINTEL) billionaire. But I don't believe he realizes what the sting of those remarks are (UNINTEL) folks who have overcome so much, to be African-American in this country and still face similar racism, to recognize in 2014 that somebody might try to keep somebody away from a basketball game based on the color of their skin, I don't think he gets that.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you this. Let's say that somehow, some way he manages to keep this team, what do you think the players will do? Do you think anybody will play for this team?

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI: I think it's going to be very tough for them to stay there. I mean, they've been very good. Doc Rivers, who's become a good friend over this last week, and Kevin Johnson who, a fellow mayor and the two of us had a press conference in Los Angeles, I think the players really are the ones that have the burden on this. And they aren't going to want to play for somebody knowing that the money that they're generating for that individual goes into the certain attitude that (UNINTEL).

BOB SCHIEFFER: Would you tell people to boycott the games if in fact he winds up with this team?

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI: I would certainly keep that arrow in my quiver. I want to feel Los Angeles, but we're a great sports town. I mean, we have two basketball teams, but we're certainly feeling like one team these days, all behind the Clippers. And we want to (UNINTEL) of our city in the best light, not one individual who would besmirch (UNINTEL).

BOB SCHIEFFER: Just a little while ago I spoke to CBS News special correspondent and host of the NFL Today, James Brown. Mr. Mayor, I want to thank you. I asked him if the NBA does have the power to take this team from Sterling.

JAMES BROWN: The big question is whether or not there's a legal leg to stand on. I would think, much like private clubs, there is a code of conduct and agreement amongst those private owners, if you will. They have, they being the subcommittee of ten, and Adam Silver the commissioner, they have the number of votes to try to make it happen. My question is, is there a legal leg to stand on?

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well let's just say, what if they can't force him out? What will the players do?

JAMES BROWN: I think the players made it perfectly clear, in as much as they were going to boycott, if in fact nothing had been done to this nature, to the degree that Adam Silver has done, the commissioner of the NBA that no free agent would go and sign to play with the Los Angeles Clippers. That's still very much on the table.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What do you think the impact will be on the city of Los Angeles?

JAMES BROWN: You know what; Los Angeles has dealt with an awful lot. I think it would be very hurtful to the city if in fact the right resolution isn't put in place, and that is an effective end to what the NBA is attempting to do. I'm more concerned from a big picture standpoint, Bob, hoping that this will force meaningful conversation, not in homogenous groups, but with inclusive and diverse groups to really get the core of this. This continues to be the third rail of American politics, from my humble perspective, and it's sickening that this has been going on this long and prudent folks, intelligent folks; mature folks can't have a meaningful dialogue objective.

BOB SCHIEFFER: How deep does racism run? You know for one thing, there are, well I guess 75 percent of the players or nearly that many, three quarters of them, in the NBA are African American, yet there's only one black majority owner. Do you see, we have now a lot of celebrities including Oprah, who says maybe she might try to buy this ball club, if it comes up for sale. How important would it be to basketball to have a minority ownership of this team?

JAMES BROWN: Oh it would be pretty significant and you'd like to see it across the major sports, period. Across the three major sports, for sure, where there's a large population. You know it's, many people, I think, and I use this word advisedly are colored by the fact that there are so many African American players who are making humongous salaries and people use income as maybe the most weighty factor to determine whether or not racism exists. That's not the case. It's in the heart. And it's also justified by the numbers that you just quoted. Till we see more representation, across the board, at the decision-making levels, ownership levels, we truly haven't made the kind of progress that we'd like to make because I firmly believe out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. And what Mr. Sterling spoke really colored and influenced the decisions that he's made with his organization and certainly reflective across a number of sports organizations.

BOB SCHIEFFER: You mentioned this briefly talking about a serious dialogue, but what would you like to see happen now? Where does all this go?

JAMES BROWN: It would be nice if in the public square, you could have more discussions like you're having today and with the all guest panel you're putting together to discuss this, but not just discussions but to see something meaningful result from it, to the degree that you talked about the dearth of minority ownership at the professional sports league level. You'll know that there's been progress when those numbers have been improved substantially. Don't be fooled by the numbers, which reflect progress in terms of the number of African American players in the NBA, two thirds in the NFL, but the real progress is in the front office and at the ownership levels. And until you see that take place, we're going to continue to see these kinds of situations percolate, whether it's at one end of the spectrum with Mr. Cliven Bundy in Nevada, or whether it's a Donald Sterling at the NBA ownership level.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Alright JB. Well thank you so much.

JAMES BROWN: Thank you so much, Bob.