Clippers Owner Don Sterling Banned For Life Over Racist Comments
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA for life for reportedly making racist comments, after several organizations, including the LGBT Sports Coalition and the NBA Players Association, called for a strong response.
Sterling was also fined $2.5 million, the maximum that the league's constitution allows, by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver at a press conference on Tuesday. He also told the New York Times that he would ensure that Sterling sells the team.
Earlier Tuesday, the coalition called on Silver to remove Sterling from his role as an owner. The group also said Sterling should sell his stake in the Clippers.
"We stand with the black coaches, players, and fans of the Clippers and the NBA who have been directly and indirectly attacked by Sterling's now-infamous racist rant to a past inamorata," the LGBT Sports Coaltion said in a statement. "We can only imagine the pain felt by head coach Doc Rivers, his entire coaching staff, and the Clippers players as they took the court Sunday for their team. The decorum they have demonstrated is laudable and must certainly be a struggle for them."
The NBA Players Association also called for Sterling to be banned from all playoff games, and to ensure that Sterling faces the maximum punishment for such an action.
"I will tell you this: Going forward there will be no player in the current, or in the future soon-to-be, that will make a decision on whether or not they want to play for the L.A. Clippers without knowing who this owner is," Sacramento mayor and players association chairman Kevin Johnson said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "And I think that's very significant, and this is where Commissioner Silver is going to have to weigh in, in my opinion, forcefully and quickly."
The Clippers are scheduled to play the Warriors in the NBA Playoffs Tuesday night in Los Angeles.