NBA Commissioner: Donald Sterling Banned for Life
“Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team. He will also be barred from attending NBA Board of Governors’ meetings or participating in any other league activity,” Silver said.
In addition, Silver is fining Sterling $2.5 million – “the maximum amount allowed under the NBA Constitution.” The money will be donated to “organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and its players association.”
Silver plans to urge the league’s Board of Governors to push for the sale of Sterling’s “ownership interest in the Clippers.”
“I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team and will do everything in my power to ensure that that happens,” he said.
According to Silver, Sterling admitted that his was the voice on the taped conversation with his mistress, V. Stiviano, making disparaging remarks about blacks, which TMZ released over the weekend.
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” Sterling said on the tape. “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that…and not to bring them to my games.”
“The central findings of the investigation are that the man whose voice is heard on the recording and on a second recording from the same conversation that was released on Sunday is Mr. Sterling and that the hateful opinions voiced by that man are those of Mr. Sterling,” Silver said in the press conference Tuesday.
“The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful,” Silver said, adding, “Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multicultural and multi-ethnic league.”
“I am personally distraught that the views expressed by Mr. Sterling came from within – an institution that has historically taken such a leadership role in matters of race relations and caused current and former players, coaches, fans and partners of the NBA to question their very association with the league,” he said.
Silver apologized to “the pioneers of the game” - Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, Sweetwater Clifton, “the great Bill Russell, and particularly, Magic Johnson.”
“This has been a painful moment for all members of the NBA family. I appreciate the support and understanding of our players during this process, and I am particularly grateful for the leadership shown by Coach Doc Rivers, Union President Chris Paul, and Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, who has been acting as the players’ representative in this matter. We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views. They simply have no place in the NBA,” Silverconcluded.