I don't have too much to add to jjwalker's entertaining invective against David Stern for suspending Amare Stoudemire and thereby rewarding the Spurs for cheap-shotting Steve Nash and inducing an ever-so-minor, but technically improper reaction by Amare. I agree that Stern is way too concerned about the appearance of "angry black men fighting" and that the hyperventilation over NBA fights as opposed to baseball or hockey fights is almost certainly motivated by conscious or unconscious racial bias.
The one point that I want to add is that I'm preconditioned to question whether the NBA's reactions are motivated by a desire to increase ratings. I watched too many fights involving the execrable Knicks in the 90s and each time, I always assumed that Stern would come down harder on the Knicks's opponents to make sure that the New York team advanced. In retrospect, I was probably wrong about the belief, but there was such a sense on my part at the time that the league and NBC were rooting for the Knicks. Maybe it was the net effect of watching one too many games officiated by Knick Bavetta.
In this instance, the NBA's decision is especially irrational because it doesn't even make economic sense for them. The Suns are one of the most popular teams in the NBA. Neutral casual fans like me won't go out of our way to watch the Spurs, who aren't aesthetically pleasing and are old hat, but we'll certainly watch the Suns, who push the ball up the court and involve one another on offense all the time. They're a throwback to the teams we grew up watching in the 80s. And if you don't believe me, look at where the Suns and Spurs rank in terms of road attendance. I'll watch the Finals if it's Suns-Pistons; I probably won't watch if it's Spurs-Pistons, who are the Chelsea-Liverpool pairing of the NBA.
In suspending Amare and swinging a finely-balanced series in favor of the Spurs, the NBA not only angered fans by overreacting to a minor incident, they took money out of their own pockets by increasing the likelihood that the Finals will have low TV ratings. In the end, the best way to view the decision by David Stern (or more precisely Stu Jackson, who gets skewered by The New Republic's Jason Zengerle as Isiah Thomas-lite) is that of a mindless ballpark usher who won't let you move to a different section, even when that section is completely empty and farther from the plate than the section for which you have a ticket. The decision is an example of mindless, bureaucratic application of rules without the slightest concern for interpretation, context, common sense, or even self-interest.