Yesterday we posted an article regarding Harlem’s Rev. Sharpton response to the racist remarks by Los Angele Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Today, the NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, said at a news conference in Manhattan that an inquiry had determined Sterling had expressed the “hateful opinions” heard on a leaked recording, which he said were “contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect” on which the NBA was based.
He said Sterling would also be fined $2.5m, the maximum allowed under the NBA’s constitution, and that Silver would now press the NBA’s governing body to force Sterling to sell the team.
“The views expressed by Mr Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful,” said Silver. “That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage.”
Silver said the NBA had established that Sterling’s voice was on the tape.
“Effective immediately, I am banning Mr Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA,” said Silver.
The ban will mean that Sterling is barred from attending any Clippers games, practices or official functions on behalf of the team. He is also barred from participating in any business or player decisions relating to the team.
Silver said that he would also do everything in his power to force Sterling to sell the Clippers. Doing so would require approval by a vote of three quarters of Sterling’s fellow NBA owners, the commissioner said. Silver said he “fully expected” to receive enough support to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.
A recording released by TMZ late on Friday featured Sterling telling his mistress, V Stiviano, who frequently accompanies him at the Staples Center, to stop bringing black guests to Clippers games. He also complained about her posing with black people in Instagram posts.
The publication of the recording prompted a furious response from players and several owners of other NBA teams. Even president Barack Obama was drawn into the row during a visit to Malaysia. The president described the remarks as “incredibly offensive”.
Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento and an adviser to the National Basketball Players Association, said earlier on Tuesday that the players’ union had urged Silver to inflict “the most severe sanctions possible” on Sterling.
Editor’s note: We would like to congratulate the NBA and add that those “hateful opinions” expressed by Mr. Sterling heard on a leaked recording, is not only “contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect” on which the NBA was based, but it is “contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect” of what it means to be American and should apply to anyone no matter their race, gender and/or religion.