Sterling is a hypocrite and deserved the sanctions placed on him by the NBA. That being said, I believe everyone is a hypocrite to some degree and Sterling is probably the best kind of hypocrite. Millions more are worse hypocrites and will never be exposed.
Sterling was a bigot at home, but in the workplace he tried to make up for his bigotry by being generous to African-Americans and the NAACP. In fact, the NAACP said it could forgive Sterling and still plans on giving him a life time achievement award. Sterling did a better job hiring African-Americans than most NBA owners. But while other NBA owners say all the right things and therefore they will never be thought of as being a bigot - their actions speak louder but nobody calls them out on it. For instance, every professional sports owner says there should be more minority head coaches, but these numbers pale in comparison to the percentage of minorities playing professional sports. But time and time again owners, when given the opportunity, fail to fill these openings with minorities. FYI, Sterling had a minority head coach – Doc Rivers.
In my opinion, Sterling spent his life probably trying to make up for his bigoted thoughts. The closest analogy I can think of in politics is Robert Byrd (former West Virginia Senator and KKK member). Why did so many people forgive Byrd and elect him to the Senate for over 50 years running? Everyone claimed he was trying to make up for his mistake – well I think Sterling was also. The only difference is that in this day and age everyone has a camera and recorder trying to catch people making a mistake.
The worst kind of hypocrite is those that can keep their thoughts to themselves and say the opposite. These hypocrites will never be caught and they are all around us. And I am not just talking about racism.
Obama talks about equal pay for females and calls out corporations, but the White House fails to heed to these words. This is a hypocrite trying to compensate for his hypocrisy (Several books point out the Obama White House workplace is hostile towards women). Of course Obama blames his unequal pay in the White House based on experience, which is the same reason pay is unequal in the corporate world.
Everyone is a hypocrite about something, but we better watch out because it is no longer safe to be one in our own homes.