By Juanita Bratcher
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million and said he will ask the Board of Governors to force the sale of Sterlingâ€™s Team, the L.A. Clippers
At a press conference yesterday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that L.A. Clippers Owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from participating in any NBA activities and a $2.5 million fine,
The decision was swift.
â€œEffective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA,â€ said Silver.
â€œAs part of the lifetime ban, Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, be present at any Clippers office or facility, or participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team. He will also be barred from attending NBA Board of Governors meetings and participating in any other league activity,â€ said Silver.
Sterling came under criticism after TMZ released a tape of Donald Sterlingâ€™s conversation with his girlfriend, Vanessa Stiviano – who is half African American and half Mexican â€“ which was filled with racial rantings, telling her not to bring Blacks to his games.
Stiviano took a picture with NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson which was later posted on Instagram.
In the tape, Sterling told Stiviano, “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that youâ€™re associating with black people. Do you have to?”
“Don’t put him on an Instagram (referring to Magic Johnson) for the world to have to see so they have to call me.Â And don’t bring him to my games.”
Silver said â€œThe 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 principles of inclusion and respect that inform our diverse, multicultural and multi-ethnic league,â€ he said.
The ruling cannot be appealed.
Silver said he will also recommend to the NBA Board of Governors to force sale of the Clippers, which would need a Â¾ majority of team owners. There are 30 team owners, including Sterlingâ€™s Clippers.
Juanita Bratcher is Editor & Publisher of CopyLine Magazine