WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver administered a landmark lifetime ban from the league to Clippers owner Donald Sterling on Tuesday, confirming recordings of racist remarks released by TMZ over the weekend were in fact voiced by Sterling.
“The central findings of the investigation are that the man whose voice is heard on the recording, and on a second recording from the same conversation — that was released on Sunday — is Mr. Sterling, and that the hateful opinions voiced by that man are those of Mr. Sterling,” Silver said in a press conference.
“The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful. 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 form the foundation of our diverse multi-cultural and multi-ethnic league.”
“Accordingly, effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life, from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA,” Silver went on to say. “Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, he may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team.”
“He will also be barred from attending NBA Board of Governors meetings or participating in any other league activity,” Silver said. “I am also fining Mr. Sterling $2.5 million — the maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution. These funds will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts, that will be jointly selected by the NBA and its players association.”
“As for Mr. Sterling’s ownership interest in the Clippers, I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team, and will do everything in my power to ensure that that happens,” Silver said.
“This has been a painful moment for all members of the NBA family,” he said. “I appreciate the support and understanding of our players during this process. And I am particularly grateful for the leadership show by Coach Doc Rivers, union president Chris Paul, and Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, who has been acting as the players’ representative in the matter.”
“We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views. They simply have no place in the NBA.”
The Clippers organization, Donald Sterling notwithstanding, seems to have sent a clear vote of agreement with Silver’s decision, with the following message on its website.
Listen to Adam Silver’s press conference: