PHOENIX — Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned “for life” and fined $2.5 million by commissioner Adam Silver after making racist comments in a taped conversation, it was announced Tuesday.
Silver also said he will encourage the NBA’s owners to exercise its options to also remove Sterling as a team owner.
According to the NBA, as part of the lifetime ban, 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.
Sterling’s racist comments were first revealed by TMZ and then in another recording posted on Deadspin. The NBA was able to authenticate the tapes, which were recorded in a private setting.
“Whether or not these remarks were initially shared in private, they are now public, and they represent his views,” Silver said.
Several team owners had condemned the alleged remarks in recent days, including Charlotte’s Michael Jordan, Miami’s Micky Arison, Washington’s Ted Leonsis and Indiana’s Herb Simon.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban agreed with Silver’s decision.
I agree 100% with Commissioner Silvers findings and the actions taken against Donald Sterling
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) April 29, 2014
Players have also called for Sterling’s ouster, with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant tweeting he “should not continue owning the clippers.”
After the comments caught the eye of the nation Monday, multiple advertisers pulled their deals with the Clippers, citing concern over Sterling’s comments.
CarMax and Virgin America announced they are ending their sponsorships of the team, and Kia Motors America plans to suspend its advertising and sponsorship activities with the franchise. Insurer State Farm said it “will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization,” though the popular ad campaign featuring Clippers guard Chris Paul will continue, as will the company’s initiatives with the NBA.
“CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers’ owner completely
unacceptable,” Richmond, Va.-based CarMax Inc. said Monday in an emailed
statement. “While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for 9 years and support
the team, fans and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its
Los Angeles-based AQUAhydrate — launched by rap mogul Sean “P Diddy” Combs and actor Mark Wahlberg — also said it was suspending its sponsorship “in the wake of Sterling’s alleged intolerable comments … until the NBA completes its investigation.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.