NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced on Tuesday afternoon that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is banned from the league for life. Sterling is also being fined $2.5 million, which is the maximum amount per the league’s constitution and will be urged to sell his interest in the Clippers organization by the Board of Governors, which will convene in the near future. Silver stated that Sterling cannot attend Clippers games, be anywhere near the team or have any say in any team matters. While Sterling still technically owns the team, he can’t have anything to do with the organization or the league.
All of this stems from Sterling’s racist comments that were caught on tape by his then-girlfriend, V. Stiviano. On the recording, Sterling stated that he did not want Stiviano to be seen publicly with black people or take pictures with them. This was cast against Sterling’s past history of discrimination, which had largely been ignored by the NBA, allowing Sterling to continue to act in an inappropriate manner. After the NBA was able to verify that the voice on the recording was Sterling’s, they went ahead and acted in the harshest possible manner.
Recently, sportswriter Bomani Jones, who tried to make Sterling’s history of inhumane racism and discrimination public back in 2006, has been asked about his thoughts on this matter. On Monday, while appearing on Dan Le Betard’s radio show, Jones blasted the mainstream media and the league for its laziness and willingness to turn a blind eye to racism that actually affects real people. Below is audio of Jones righteously blasting the way the media, politicians and people in general look at racism today:
As for Sterling, even if he refuses to sell his stake in the franchise, Silver pointed out that Sterling’s lifetime ban will still be in place. It is separate from Sterling’s ownership status. With that ban in place, Sterling really has no choice but to sell the team. However, nobody should cry for Sterling. His initial investment in the team was $12.5 million and the value of the franchise is now estimated at around $550 million. Therefore, he is going to make a huge profit return on his investment.
Below is the news release from the NBA in its entirety:
NEW YORK – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has banned Donald Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers or the NBA, it was announced today at a press conference in Manhattan.
Commissioner Silver has also fined Mr. Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA Constitution. The fine money will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the Players Association.
As part of the lifetime ban, Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, be present at any Clippers office or facility, or participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team. He will also be barred from attending NBA Board of Governors meetings and participating in any other league activity.
Commissioner Silver also announced that he will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team.
The discipline issued today is based on the Commissioner’s conclusion that Mr. Sterling violated league rules through his expressions of offensive and hurtful views, the impact of which has been widely felt throughout the league.
A transcript of Commissioner Silver’s press conference will be issued this afternoon and posted on the NBA’s media website (mediacentral.nba.com).
A statement from Sterling will obviously be forthcoming.