Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (r) and his estranged wife Shelly (l).
Racist NBA Owner Kicked to the Curb for ‘Deeply Offensive and Harmful’ Comments About African-Americans, Says Commissioner Adam Silver
Donald Sterling has been banned from the Los Angeles Clippers organization, the NBA, and any associated organizations for life, effective immediately, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday afternoon. In addition, the longtime Clippers owner will also be fined $2.5 million for his racist commentary leaked by his ex-mistress V. Stiviano.
Donald Sterling’s discipline for his racist critique to his ex-mistress Stiviano was dispensed rapidly throughout the New York City press conference, which incorporated a conciliatory sentiment to the NBA players, fans and a special apology to Magic Johnson. The Jewish NBA owner is physically banned from any association and league events, yet some of his relatives that work in official positions for the Clippers won’t be influenced.
Commisioner Silver announced that Sterling admitted to the “deeply offensive and harmful” comments when asked, and Adam, who has known the owner for over 20 years, said he knew it was his voice on the tape.
Though the $2.5 million fine and ban will be easy to enforce, the forced sale of the team requires 75 percent of the owners votes to do so which means there will need to be 22 owners out of 30 owners total who need to vote against him. Although Silver said he doesn’t foresee any issue getting the votes, it isn’t known if he could get Sterling out without them.
The NBA Commissioner, who was a protégé of David Stern’s and has only three months on the job, said he spoke to several team owners, Clippers star and NBA Players Association President Chris Paul, Clippers coach Doc Rivers and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former player and advisor to the NBA, when making his decision. He also hired attorney David Anders of the Wachtell Lipton firm not long after hearing the audio recording of Sterling Saturday.
“You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that … and not to bring them to my games,” Sterling said on the tape. “Don’t put [Magic Johnson] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so [my friends] have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.”
Sterling, lawyer, business magnate and real estate investor, has a history of racist behavior. However, that did not come into account when Silver made his decision, he said.
The 80-year-old Jewish businessman is infamously litigious, and although Silver said he has “no idea if [Sterling will] fight” the ruling, he’d be remiss to – the private NBA bylaws state that the commissioner’s ruling is “final, binding and conclusive” in Paragraph 24.
Listen to the audio of Sterling’s bigot comments below: