NBA bans Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life

Owners are urged to force him to sell

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 2:26 PM
Last updated 9:28 PM
  • Follow Latest News

NEW YORK — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver delivered the swiftest, strongest penalty he could, then called on NBA owners to force Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell the team for making racist comments that hurt the league.

Back | Next
Sterling (right)  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sterling (right)

Almost unanimously, owners supported the commissioner Tuesday, as he handed down one of the harshest penalties in the history of U.S. sports.

“We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views. They simply have no place in the NBA,” Silver said at a news conference.

Sterling, 80, is banned for life from any association with the league or the Clippers, and fined $2.5 million – the maximum allowable under the NBA constitution. If three-fourths of the other 29 owners agree to Silver’s recommendation, Sterling will be forced to sell the team he has owned since 1981.

A message left seeking comment at Sterling’s business office hadn’t been returned Tuesday afternoon. Team spokesman Seth Burton said in an e-mail that the Clippers had no plans to issue a statement from Sterling on Tuesday.

Players and others cheered Silver’s quick action, with union officials saying that if the league’s punishment hadn’t included a mandate for Sterling to sell the team, players were considering boycotting playoff games, including Tuesday’s Golden State Warriors-Clippers matchup, the team’s first home game since the scandal erupted.

“We wanted to be a part of this decision, and we wanted Adam Silver to know where we stood. And we were very clear that anything other than Sterling selling his team was not going to be enough for us,” said Roger Mason Jr., the first vice president of the players’ union.

Sterling’s comments – which were recorded by his girlfriend and released by TMZ on Saturday – harmed the league, Silver said. Sponsors were threatening to abandon the NBA, and criticism was coming from fans on social media and even the White House.

Sterling criticized V. Stiviano – purportedly the female voice on the tapes – for posting pictures of her with black athletes Magic Johnson and Matt Kemp.

“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” Sterling asks the woman on the tape.

“Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multicultural and multiethnic league,” Silver said.

The NBA’s longest-tenured owner keeps his team for now– and Silver said he didn’t know if Sterling would fight to do so permanently.

But he can’t attend games or practices, can’t be involved in any personnel decisions or participate in board of governors meetings.

Just three days after the scandal broke, and hours before the Clippers played host to their biggest game of the season, Silver apologized to some of the league’s black pioneers while meting out a punishment he believed would satisfy outraged players and fans.

Silver said the ban applied only to Sterling and there had been no discussions about whether he could sell to a family member.

“We applaud the firm punishment handed out today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and appreciate the swiftness with which the NBA conducted its investigation,” Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob said in a statement.

Sterling, with an estimated net worth of about $2 billion, did not comment, though Silver said he did not apologize for his remarks.

Silver said Sterling confirmed that he was the person on the audiotapes.

Silver hasn’t even been on the job three months and already had to face a crisis that threatened the league not only financially - with several companies ending or suspending their sponsorships of the Clippers - but more importantly, socially.

The NBA survived the Indiana Pacers’ brawl with Detroit Pistons fans, and referee Tim Donaghy betting on games he officiated. But this brought a different level of outrage, particularly because the league could have done something sooner about Sterling, who has faced federal charges of civil rights violations and racial discrimination in his business dealings.

“This has all happened in three days, and so I am hopeful there will be no long-term damage to the league and to the Clippers organization,” Silver said. “But as I said earlier, I’m outraged so I certainly understand other people’s outrage.”

After the announcement, the Clippers’ website had a simple message: “We are one.”

“We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver today. Now the healing process begins,” the Clippers added in a statement.

Sterling’s Clippers have been one of the most incompetent franchises in pro sports, and would have been home by now in most of their seasons. But this team is a title contender led by Doc Rivers, a black coach whom Sterling brought from Boston and paid $7 million a year.

Rivers canceled practice Monday and declined a meeting request from Sterling. He wouldn’t address whether he would return next season if Sterling were still in control.

That might not be an issue if the owners vote to oust the owner.

Sterling is estranged from his wife and had been dating Stiviano, 31. In court documents, Stiviano describes him as a man “with a big toothy grin brandishing his sexual prowess in the faces of the Paparazzi and caring less what anyone else thought, the least of which, his own wife.”

Silver said when he first heard the audio, he hoped it had been altered or was fake, but thought it was Sterling. And it doesn’t matter if Sterling didn’t realize he was being recorded, Silver said.

“Whether or not these remarks were initially shared in private, they’re now public, and they represent his views.”

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
  • “Commissioner Silver thank you for protecting our beautiful and powerful league!! Great leader!! #BiggerThanBasketball #StriveForGreatness” – Miami Heat star LeBron James on Twitter
  • “Way to go, Commissioner Silver! The NBA stands for everybody!” – former star Shaquille O’Neal on Twitter
Comments (55) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
internationallyunknown
3932
Points
internationallyunknown 04/29/14 - 02:56 pm
9
3
I do not condone what he

I do not condone what he said, BUT...it was a RECORDED, PERSONAL CONVERSATION!

bassmaster
81
Points
bassmaster 04/29/14 - 03:00 pm
9
3
It's okay for players to make

It's okay for players to make homophobic comments and only receive a fine, but Donald Sterling makes racial remarks and is fined and banned? That doesn't sound like equal treatment there.

t3bledsoe
14223
Points
t3bledsoe 04/29/14 - 03:36 pm
7
3
Again, The First Ammendment

If The First Ammendment is worth more than the paper that it is printed on, THEN STERLING should have a CAKE WALK in court!!

bigj706
993
Points
bigj706 04/29/14 - 03:40 pm
1
7
He owns a team very different

He owns a team very different I cant believe you cant see the difference.

bassmaster
81
Points
bassmaster 04/29/14 - 03:51 pm
7
3
How is it very different?

How is it very different? Who do you see on TV more? The player or the owner? That's right the player.... The players are the ones who represent the NBA more, but they get a slap on the wrist?

Just My Opinion
5288
Points
Just My Opinion 04/29/14 - 03:51 pm
9
5
Banned for life AND he has to

Banned for life AND he has to pay a huge fine? Forget that! If I were this guy, I'd tell everyone to kiss my rich tail and I'd go fly off to Europe for a long and glorious vacation! And then he should call Paula Deen and have her join him! So tired of all these hypocrits getting disjointed because of something some rich old man says, and forgetting all about their own prejudicial thoughts and stances. I just hope, hope, hope that someone catches some prominent black person making similar comments towards some other racial group. It happens folks...and we ALL know it.

rmwhitley
5526
Points
rmwhitley 04/29/14 - 03:55 pm
0
0
Quick to
Unpublished

decide sterling is a piece of toilet scum and strip him of his nba rights. Wonder what it would take to strip al sharpton and charlies rangel of their rights? They are avowed bigots and racists but are celebrated by the pansy white community. Move over, rangel and sharpton, because I'm just as racist as you are. The only difference is that it's considered to be a criminal offense for me to be a racist bigot.

bigj706
993
Points
bigj706 04/29/14 - 03:57 pm
3
7
The play doesn't have anyone

The play doesn't have anyone who works for them who they are talking behind their back. You can just ignore them you cant ignore a bigot you work for that's the difference

bigj706
993
Points
bigj706 04/29/14 - 03:57 pm
1
4
players my bad

players my bad

bassmaster
81
Points
bassmaster 04/29/14 - 03:59 pm
5
2
If you were getting a ball

If you were getting a ball player's salary, I'm sure you could ignore the bigot and laugh all the way to the bank.

Fiat_Lux
14851
Points
Fiat_Lux 04/29/14 - 04:01 pm
7
2
Tell 'em to go fly a kite.

It's his team and there are plenty of roundball players out there who would gladly jump onto his team after he boots all the babies off. The NBA may be able to keep him out of the arenas, etc, but they sure as heck can't make him sell his team or restrict what he says in private.

Nikita sure had us pegged correctly, and idiots like the cowards at the NBA, the main sleaze media and every entitled crybaby are making his prediction come to fruition.

MLK, JFK, the signers of the D of I and every person who gave their life for our nation's sovereignty and the rights of individuals to free expression are probably twirling in their graves in disgust. Again.

southern2
5433
Points
southern2 04/29/14 - 04:01 pm
5
2
The "THOUGHT PATROL" strikes

The "THOUGHT PATROL" strikes again. Guess the Flight 320 headline had run it's course in covering up the Regime's Antics. A good racist story is good for at least a week of front page above the fold headlines.

t3bledsoe
14223
Points
t3bledsoe 04/29/14 - 04:03 pm
4
2
bigj706 @ 3:40

"He owns a team very different I cant believe you cant see the difference" I am sorry, but I don't know if this comment was meant for me. If it is for me, then I base ALL of my judgements and beliefs on two things, The First Ammendment and the fact that it was A PRIVATE CONVERSATION!

itsanotherday1
40358
Points
itsanotherday1 04/29/14 - 04:05 pm
6
2
I agree about the private

I agree about the private conversation part; but this guy apparently has some very public negative history to go along with it.

All the same, I still say privately held business owners should be free to say or do as they please; include or exclude anyone they want. If they can stand the heat, fine. Just as they are free to be as big of a jackass as they want, people are also free to patronize them or not, and protest them or not.

Pops
7015
Points
Pops 04/29/14 - 04:08 pm
8
2
I hope the media will move on

now that this guy has been vilified. Somehow I feel this story will linger....some will want Eric Holder to get involved.....some will want him to sell the team and give the proceeds to "charity"......Rev Al and Jesse love it because it gives them something to talk about and gets some of the attention away from pesky little stories like Russia, the knock out game, etc.

bigj706
993
Points
bigj706 04/29/14 - 04:09 pm
1
2
t3bledsoe no it wasn't meant

t3bledsoe no it wasn't meant for you, but I respect your point of view, with that private conversation once it becomes public you have to deal with the consequences. If you found out that your spouse was cheating by a video from someone else you would ignore it because it was suppose to be private I think not.

t3bledsoe
14223
Points
t3bledsoe 04/29/14 - 04:09 pm
3
1
Fiat_Lux@ 4:01

"MLK, JFK, the signers of the D of I and every person who gave their life for our nation's sovereignty and the rights of individuals to free expression are probably twirling in their graves in disgust. Again"

BROVO, EXCELENT COMMENT!! Freedom of speach is A PROTECTED RIGHT!!

bigj706
993
Points
bigj706 04/29/14 - 04:11 pm
1
4
bassmaster his thoughts

bassmaster his thoughts exactly "I pay you so I can call you what ever I want" Wrong answer

jaymai
381
Points
jaymai 04/29/14 - 04:11 pm
6
1
As a life-long, die-hard,

As a life-long, die-hard, frustrated Dallas Cowboys fan, I wish someone would set up Jerry Jones like Sterling's mistress did to get him kicked out of the league.

Riverman1
79615
Points
Riverman1 04/29/14 - 04:16 pm
3
1
Girlfriend and Midgets

It would have better for Sterling if his ex-girlfriend had started dating midgets and he complained to her over the phone about her showing up at games with them. Fat people? Chinese?

bigj706
993
Points
bigj706 04/29/14 - 04:16 pm
1
3
Hey jaymai I am also. Lets

Hey jaymai I am also. Lets get her a ticket to Dallas!lol

bassmaster
81
Points
bassmaster 04/29/14 - 04:35 pm
4
1
Bigj706, did the Black

Bigj706, did the Black Clippers players walk? NO they did not, and they are still getting paid. If a man wants to hate on something, he has the right to do so and own a basketball team. It may not be right, but he is the one that has to live and deal with it.

bigj706
993
Points
bigj706 04/29/14 - 04:40 pm
0
3
They are under contract just

They are under contract just cant walk its not set up like that. Its his team but its not a right in a private league to do and treat anyone how he wants to. Now if he makes his own basketball league he will be more than welcome to call people whatever he wants

bassmaster
81
Points
bassmaster 04/29/14 - 04:48 pm
3
1
Is there any proof of

Is there any proof of mistreatment in the league? NO, all he did was make some remarks. Does it hurt anyone? No it sure doesn't.

bigj706
993
Points
bigj706 04/29/14 - 04:58 pm
0
3
Yes oh my!! He has years and

Yes oh my!! He has years and years proof of mistreatment even court cases. That last statement you made I guess abusive teachers could use that same line

fedex227
10776
Points
fedex227 04/29/14 - 05:35 pm
2
0
Just to clear things up ...

"NBA may be able to keep him out of the arenas, etc, but they sure as heck can't make him sell his team."

Apparently they can, as long as they get 3/4 of all the owners to vote in favor of it. If I read their rules correctly.

LillyfromtheMills
12670
Points
LillyfromtheMills 04/29/14 - 05:42 pm
1
1
RM was talking about sex

This is an old man - where is his family to see after him? Some old folks live in a fantasy land and if he has millions - the sky is the limit

Lorraine
140
Points
Lorraine 04/29/14 - 05:51 pm
2
8
Bigotry and Hatred Embraced

It is no surprise to me that Sterling's bigotry and hatred would be embraced here.

Bizkit
29242
Points
Bizkit 04/29/14 - 06:13 pm
2
1
Well you know there will be

Well you know there will be some KKK rally supporting this nut-he will become a Nazi skinhead hero for all the haters. Then the New Black Panthers will decide to get all violent again and there ya go-we are going back in time because we have no leader who should (because of his mixed ethnicity) be most qualified to neutralize the issue and unify Americans (making the argument there is no race because really we are all mixed ethnicities) rather than just stirring the coals. It is nice the majority of Americans reject racism quite reflexively.

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 04/29/14 - 06:26 pm
5
3
"It is no surprise to me that
Unpublished

"It is no surprise to me that Sterling's bigotry and hatred would be embraced here."
Lorriane, I just saw a speech by the leader of the LA NAACP saying that they were going to forgive Sterling. Yeah as long as he keeps on dishing out the $$. I guess his $$ makes his 'bigotry and hatred would be embraced' by NAACP.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs