Accused Racist Donald Sterling Banned for Life From the NBA
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday that he is doing everything in his power to get Clippers owner Donald Sterling out of the league following a recorded racist tirade attributed to Sterling.
Silver banned Sterling from attending anything remotely having to do with the Clippers or the NBA — the owner can’t go to his team’s games or facilities, he can’t attend board of governors meetings, he can’t go to practices or games involving any NBA team. In addition, Silver leveled a maximum $2.5 million fine and says he is seeking additional power to force a sale of the Clippers.
“Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the basis of our diverse, multicultural and multiethnic league,” said the commissioner.
The scandal erupted last week when TMZ and Deadspin obtained a recording allegedly of Sterling asking his girlfriend not to associate with black people in public — specifically basketball great and hometown hero Magic Johnson.
Johnson was one of many African-American players who expressed outrage after the scandal broke, and he appears happy with Silver’s decision:
Current and former NBA players now know that in Commissioner Adam Silver we have a great leader leading our league.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 29, 2014
Another player-turned-commentator, Charles Barkley, said that it couldn’t just be black former athletes calling for Sterling’s head. The owners and the league, he said, had to step in and stand up for their players.
This may give a boost to the Clippers themselves, who have an African-American coach in Doc Rivers and a diverse team, and who find themselves in the playoffs earning heaps of money for a reported bigot. Rivers previously said he was asked whether he wanted to speak to Sterling, and declined.
Before the ban came down, Keith Olbermann pointed out on his own show that Sterling’s faults have been well understood for decades, and he urged the players to strike:
— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer