In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver confirmed that the voice heard in the tape below is in fact Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. In it, Sterling makes a variety of heinous, racist comments, including that he wishes black people like Magic Johnson would not come to his games.
Silver went on to ban Sterling for life from the NBA and fine him $2.5 million.
Donald Sterling Banned from the National Basketball Association
According to Silver, the owners have the authority, if three quarters of them vote in favour of the move at the NBA Governers’ Meetings, to force the sale of a team. Silver, visibly upset by the news, personally committed to ensure this happened, saying he would “do everything in [his] power” to force the sale of the Clippers.
When asked, he said the process of removing Sterling as the owner of the Clippers would begin “immediately.”
The $2.5 million fine, the maximum allowable under the NBA’s governance, will go to charities agreed upon by the NBA and the NBPA that teach tolerance.
The terms of the ban include that Sterling is not welcome at NBA games, practices, or at any team facilities. Sterling will not be allowed to affect business or basketball decisions within the Clippers organization, and will not be allowed at the NBA Board of Governers meetings, where the first topic for discussion will be forcing Sterling out.
In what was clearly a tightly-orchestrated response to the commissioner’s announcement, former and current players quickly weighed in in support of the NBA’s response. The NBPA’s Committee Chairman, former player and Mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson, in their own press conference held just after Silver’s, went so far as to say “Adam Silver is not only the owners’ commissioner, but the players’ commissioner.”
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 29, 2014
Former and current NBA players are very happy and satisfied with Commissioner Silver’s ruling.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 29, 2014
As part of the NBPA’s press conference, oft-injured Los Angeles Laker Steve Nash spoke on behalf of current players, and even Kareem Abdul Jabbar weighed in. Jabbar made several statements to TIME magazine and other media outlets, and the former All-Star echoed the sentiments of all speaking that racism is not welcome in the NBA.[sc:NBAArticles ] [sc:NBA490banner ]
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