NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life after making racist comments in a voice recording obtained by TMZ.
In a conversation with a woman thought to be his girlfriend, Sterling demands that he didn’t like that she posted a photo with Magic Johnson on Instagram, and didn’t want her bringing Johnson to Clippers games. “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” Mr. Sterling asks the woman on the tape. Since the release of Sterling’s comments, numerous NBA owners and players have condemned them.
Silver sent an email to subscribers of the NBA newsletter this morning outlining the course of action the association has taken in response to Sterling’s actions. As a repercussion of Sterling’s words, he has been banned for life from any association with the Clippers or the NBA, may not attend any NBA games or practices, be present at the Clippers office or facility or participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team.
Sterling was also hit with a whopping $2.5 million fine, which is the maximum amount allowed under the NBA Constitution. These funds will be donated to charitable organizations committed to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts.
The penalties, which were announced only three days after the scandal broke, are the harshest ever issued by the league and among the strictest punishments ever given to an owner in professional sport.
In the past, Sterling has faced extensive federal charges of civil rights violations and racial discrimination in his business dealings, and has also been sued for sexual harassment by former employees.
“When you get this many Lakers to stand up for the Clippers, you know something big is happening in LA”, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “We are a single team here today, a team not only speaking out for what we’re against – racism, bigotry, intolerance – but what we’re for. We’re for great basketball.”
Below is the email sent to subscribers of the NBA newsletter:
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