UPDATE: NBA Bans LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling For Life Over Racist...

UPDATE: NBA Bans LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling For Life Over Racist Comments, Fines Him $2.5 Million

By The Guardian UK on April 29, 2014
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Team owner Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers in an undated photo

The National Basketball Association on Tuesday imposed a lifetime ban on Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, for making racist remarks that were recorded on tape.

The NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, said at a news conference in Manhattan that an inquiry had determined Sterling had expressed the “hateful opinions” heard on a leaked recording, which he said were “contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect” on which the NBA was based.

He said Sterling would also be fined $2.5m, the maximum allowed under the NBA’s constitution, and that Silver would now press the NBA’s governing body to force Sterling to sell the team.

“The views expressed by Mr Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful,” said Silver. “That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage.”

Silver said the NBA had established that Sterling’s voice was on the tape.

“Effective immediately, I am banning Mr Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organisation or the NBA,” said Silver.

The ban will mean that Sterling is barred from attending any Clippers games, practices or official functions on behalf of the team. He is also barred from participating in any business or player decisions relating to the team.

Silver said that he would also do everything in his power to force Sterling to sell the Clippers. Doing so would require approval by a vote of three quarters of Sterling’s fellow NBA owners, the commissioner said. Silver said he “fully expected” to receive enough support to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.

A recording released by TMZ late on Friday featured Sterling telling his mistress, V Stiviano, who frequently accompanies him at the Staples Center, to stop bringing black guests to Clippers games. He also complained about her posing with black people in Instagram posts.

The publication of the recording prompted a furious response from players and several owners of other NBA teams. Even Barack Obama was drawn into the row during a visit to Malaysia. The president described the remarks as “incredibly offensive”.

Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento and an adviser to the National Basketball Players Association, said earlier on Tuesday that the players’ union had urged Silver to inflict “the most severe sanctions possible” on Sterling.

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