National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday afternoon that he has chosen to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the NBA for life, fine him $2.5 million, and persuade the league’s board of governors to force him to sell his stake in the team.
Silver said that an NBA investigation has determined that the voice on two recordings of a man making racist comments to a young woman is Sterling’s. Sterling admitted it was his voice. Silver said he was “personally distraught” over the remarks, which essentially stated that Sterling didn’t want black people coming to Clippers games
Silver went on to say the remarks were contrary to the inclusive history of the league and that his views “simply have no place in the NBA.”
“When specific evidence was brought to the NBA, we acted,” he said.
The lifetime ban means that Sterling can no longer attend NBA games, attend board of governors meetings, do any business involving the Clippers franchise, or be involved in the league in any other way.
The board of governors, which includes all the other NBA owners, must vote with a three-fourths majority to force Sterling to sell the team.
Silver commended the courage of the Clippers players, who staged a silent protest over Sterling’s remarks before their game against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.
After news of Sterling’s remarks broke over the weekend, sponsors including CarMax, State Farm Insurance, Kia Motors America, Virgin America, AQUAHydrate, Red Bull, Yokohama tires, and Mercedes-Benz quickly distanced themselves from the Clippers team
When asked what sort of financial damage the remarks has done to the NBA, Silver said he couldn’t offer a number.
“I hope there will be no long-term damage to the league,” he said. “This will take some time.”
In a seeming act of solidarity with players, the Los Angeles Clippers website
simply displayed a logo and the message 'We are one' Tuesday afternoon: