Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is banned from the league for life and must pay $2.5 million fine as punishment for his hateful remarks against black players.
Silver also said he would urge NBA owners and the board of governors to force Sterling to sell the team he bought in 1981 for only $12 million but is now worth $575 million, according to Forbes magazine. Three-quarters vote is needed to force Sterling to sell the team, which is currently in the playoffs against the Golden State Warriors.
The ban means Sterling cannot go to NBA games, attend team practices, make decisions regarding the team or attend NBA meetings.
Silver said Sterling admitted it was his voice in the controversial recording of a conversation with his ex-girlfriend that TMZ posted on its website on Saturday. In the audio, Sterling was arguing with V. Stiviano over her Instagram photos in which she appears with black players, including former Lakers’ Magic Johnson, now a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sterling told Stiviano not to bring Johnson to the games with her.
The following day, sports site Deadspin also posted the recording. Both sites did not say how they obtained the recording. Stiviano’s lawyer, Mac E. Nehoray, denied that she leaked the conversation to the media.
The racist remarks drew wide condemnation from NBA players, including Clippers themselves, team officials, and team owners, including Hall of Famer Michael Jordan, who owns the Charlotte Bobcats. They urged Silver to punish Sterling. Clippers sponsors suspended partnerships with the team on Monday.