New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The NBA has started proceedings to officially remove Donald Sterling as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Earlier, the league banned Sterling and fined him $2.5 million for his racist comments in an audio recording revealed by celebrity website TMZ.
The league charges that Sterling “engaged in conduct that has damaged and continues to damage the NBA and its teams.”
Aside from this, the NBA claimed Mr. Sterling “disparaged African-Americans and ‘minorities’, directed a female acquaintance not to associate publicly with African-Americans or to bring African-Americans to Clippers games and criticized African-Americans for not supporting their communities.”
Sterling has until May 27 to respond to the charges and a hearing to terminate Sterling’s ownership will be held June 3. The league needs three-fourths vote of owners to terminate Sterling’s ownership.
The Board of Governors plans to vote on termination that day, and the hearing will be held in New York. Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor will preside over the hearing.
Sterling and his attorney Maxwell M. Blecher received the charges Monday by hand delivery.
Blecher said in an e-mail, “We are studying the extensive charges served today by the NBA. Otherwise, we have no comment.”
According to the league, Sterling’s “actions and positions significantly undermine the NBA’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion; damage the NBA’s relationship with its fans and harm NBA owners, players and Clippers team personnel.
Also, Sterling’s act impaired the NBA’s relationship with marketing and merchandising partners, as well as with government and community leaders.
“Mr. Sterling engaged in other misconduct as well, including issuing a false and misleading press statement about this matter,” said the league, adding that his acts allow the NBA to pursue termination “under several provisions of the NBA Constitution and related agreements.”
In its constitution and bylaws, the NBA has focused on Article 13(d) which states a member or owner can be terminated if he or she fails or refuses “to fulfill its contractual obligations to the Association, its Members, Players, or any other third party in such a way as to affect the Association or its Members adversely.”