Donald Sterling, who has owned the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise for more than 30 years, has faced heavy criticism from all sides in recent days after he was recorded making racist comments discouraging blacks from attending team games. Though the backlash initially included only outraged players, fans, and media commentators, the NBA announced Tuesday that the 80-year-old owner will face steep consequences for his behavior.
“Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA,” Commissioner Adam Silver said during a recent news conference.
The ban, he explained, will be comprehensive.
“As part of the lifetime ban,” he noted, “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.”
In addition, he will face the league’s maximum monetary punishment, a $2.5 million fine that will ultimately go to anti-discrimination groups.
Silver used the conference to express his requisite disgust over the recorded comments.
“The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful,” he said. “That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage. Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that inform our diverse, multicultural and multi-ethnic league.”
The action against Sterling will also include Silver’s diligent effort to make sure the team finds a new owner as soon as possible.
Photo Credit: Verse Photography (Creative Commons)