Donald Sterling Owner of Los Angeles Clippers to be fined $2.5M, Banned for life by NBA and Will be Forced to Sell the Team
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million as a result of racist comments attributed to him, league commissioner Michael Silver said Tuesday.
Mr. Sterling may not attend any games or practices and may not participate in any business or personnel decisions involving the team or the league, Mr. Silver said.
Comments by Mr. Sterling on a tape recording that surfaced recently instruct a woman, V. Stiviano, not to bring black people to Clippers games or include them on her social media account, among other things.
Mr. Silver called the remarks “deeply offensive and harmful.” “That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage,” he said. “This has been a painful moment for all members of the NBA family.”
The $2.5 million fine is “the maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution,” according to Mr. Silver, which he said will be donated to anti-discrimination efforts.
Mr. Silver said the league’s investigation into the recording was complete and that it was, in fact, Mr. Sterling speaking on the tape.
He said he will do everything in his power to try to force Mr. Sterling to give up ownership of the team, which he has owned since 1981. Three-quarters of the league’s owners must approve of such a move.
“I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him,” Mr. Silver said.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban earlier called Mr. Sterling’s alleged remarks “abhorrent,” but also said there was a slippery slope in attempting to police what team owners can and cannot say.
“There’s no place for racism in the NBA, any business I’m associated with,” Mr. Cuban said. “But at the same time, that’s a decision I make. I think you’ve got to be very, very careful when you start making blanket statements about what people say and think, as opposed to what they do. It’s a very, very slippery slope.”
Should Donald Sterling be forced to sell his team?