Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was exposed as a racist for incendiary and bigoted comments he made in a private telephone conversation with his mistress last weekend. When the conversation was leaked to the media -- and proven to be authentic -- the public backlash was instantaneous and widespread. Today, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced in a press conference that he was levying a lifetime ban on the NBA owner, and fining him millions of dollars, too:
The National Basketball Association banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the game for life and fined him $2.5 million for racist comments made public over the weekend, the league's commissioner said on Tuesday.
Sterling, the longest-tenured owner of any of the 30 NBA teams, will not be allowed any role in the operations of his team or be able to serve as one of the league's governors, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced at a news conference in New York.
ABC News has more:
"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," said Silver.
Commissioner Silver is also urging the NBA’s 29 other owners to make Sterling sell. But he might do that voluntarily anyway, as many sponsors have already distanced themselves from the now-politicized and money-losing franchise:
Silver said he would call on the owners to vote to force Sterling to sell the team. Such a move would require approval of three-quarters of the current owners.
The league acted after several team sponsors including auto dealer CarMax Inc, Virgin America, State Farm, Kia Motors America, music mogul P. Diddy's water brand, AQUAHydrate, Red Bull and Yokohama Tire all announced on Monday that they were stepping back from the team.
Sterling has owned the Clippers since the early 1980s.