Donald Sterling banned for life from the NBA, fined $2.5 million dollars

NEW YORK (AP) — Issuing about the strongest rebuke that he could, NBA Commissioner
Adam Silver banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life Tuesday for
making racist comments in a recorded conversation, the first step toward forcing a sale
of the club and permanently removing Sterling from the league.
Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million, and again expressed outrage.
"I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him,"
Silver said.
Several owners immediately chimed in with support of Silver's decision. Sterling, the
league's longest-tenured owner and someone with an estimated net worth of about $2
billion, did not offer any immediate comment.
The penalties, which were announced only three days after the scandal broke, are the
harshest ever issued by the league and among the stiffest punishments ever given to an
owner in professional sports. Silver said a league investigation found that Sterling was
in fact the person on the audiotapes that were released over the weekend and
immediately sent shock waves throughout the game.
"We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling's views," Silver said. "They simply have
no place in the NBA."
Sterling acknowledged he was the man on the tape, Silver said.
Sterling still owns the team, but going forward he is immediately barred from attending
any NBA games or practices, being present at any Clippers office or facility, participating
in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team, or being part of any
league business.
It's unclear how Sterling will respond.
"This league is far bigger than any one owner, any one coach and any one player," said
Silver, who as commissioner has broad powers under what's typically called the "best
interest of the game" clause of the NBA constitution.
But Silver works for the owners, and he will need 75 percent of them — if all 30 teams
vote, he'll need 23 on his side — to force Sterling out of the league completely.
The fine will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance
efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the Players Association, Silver said.
"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. This will take some
time and appropriate healing will be necessary."
After the announcement, the Clippers' website had a simple message: "We are one," it
"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 comments were released over the weekend by TMZ and Deadspin, and
numerous NBA owners and players have condemned them. Even President Barack Obama
weighed in on the crisis, the first of Silver's brief tenure as commissioner.
"Commissioner Silver thank you for protecting our beautiful and powerful league!! Great
leader!!," Miami Heat star LeBron James wrote on Twitter.
The league's investigation started Saturday and players immediately began expressing
intense displeasure with the situation, even going so far as to ask Sacramento Mayor
Kevin Johnson to get involved on behalf of the players' union.
"When one rotten apple does something, or if you see cancer, you've got to cut it out
really quickly," Kevin Johnson said at a news conference in Los Angeles, flanked by NBA
legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and players like Steve Nash, Tyson Chandler, Luke Walton
and Roger Mason Jr., among others. "And Commissioner Silver did that in real time.
We're so proud and thankful for him."
The sanctions came a few hours before the Clippers were to play Golden State in Game 5
of a tied-up Western Conference first-round playoff series.
"When you get this many Lakers to stand up for the Clippers, you know something big is
happening in L.A.," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. "We are a single team here
today, a team not only speaking out for what we're against — racism, hatred, bigotry,
intolerance — but what we're for. We're for great basketball."
Before Silver took the podium, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted out a photo
of the NBA Constitution, saying "It exists for a reason."
Several sponsors either terminated or suspended their business dealings with the team
on Monday, though individual deals that some of those companies have with Clippers
stars like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will continue and were not affected. Still, it was a
clear statement that companies, like just about everyone inside the league, were
"Commissioner Silver showed great leadership in banning LA Clippers owner Donald
Sterling for life," Magic Johnson, who was referenced on the taped conversation
involving Sterling, tweeted shortly after the league's decision was announced.
Johnson's role on the tape stemmed from Sterling's female companion apparently
posting a photo of her and the Hall of Fame player on her Instagram account. That photo
has since been deleted, but raised Sterling's ire nonetheless.
"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.
The issues raised when the tapes were released over the weekend represent just another
chapter in Sterling's long history of being at the center of controversy.
In the past, he's faced extensive federal charges of civil rights violations and racial
discrimination in his business dealings, and some of his race-related statements would
be described as shocking.
He has also been sued in the past for sexual harassment by former employees, and even
the woman who goes by the name "V. Stiviano" — purportedly the female voice on the
tapes at the center of this scandal — describes Sterling in court documents 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."
Stiviano is being sued by Rochelle Sterling, who is seeking to reclaim at least $1.8
million in cash and gifts that her husband allegedly provided the woman.
Silver said when he first heard the audio, he hoped it had been altered or was fake — but
also said that from his 20-year relationship with Sterling, he suspected the voice was
"This has been a painful moment," Silver said, "for all members of the NBA family."
Another racist bites the dust..

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Write by: Dj Donk - Tuesday, April 29, 2014

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