The National Basketball Association banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the game for life and fined him $2.5 million for racist comments made public over the weekend, the league’s commissioner said on Tuesday.
Sterling, the longest-tenured owner of any of the 30 NBA teams, will no longer be allowed any role in the operations of his team or be able to serve as one of the league’s governors, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced at a news conference in New York.
Silver also said he would “do everything in my power” to ensure that Sterling was forced to sell the Los Angeles Clippers. “I fully expect to get the support I need to remove him,” Silver said.
The controversy began over the weekend when celebrity website TMZ.com published an audio recording with a voice said to be Sterling’s criticizing a friend for associating with “black people.”
An investigation into the recording concluded the voice was indeed Sterling’s, Silver told reporters, adding that the comments were “deeply offensive and harmful.”
Sterling’s remarks caused a wave of outrage from fans, players and coaches of the league and drew a sharp rebuke from US President Barack Obama, who blasted the “incredibly offensive racist statements.”
About 75 percent of the NBA’s players are black.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-04-29