Los Angeles Clippers owner banned for life by the NBA

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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA in response to racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation.

Commissioner Adam Silver said he will try to force the controversial owner to sell his franchise. Sterling has also been fined $2.5 million, and Silver made no effort to hide his outrage over the comments.

He said a league investigation found that the league's longest-tenured owner was in fact the person on the audiotapes that were released over the weekend.

"We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling's views," Silver said. "They simply have no place in the NBA."

Sterling acknowledged he was the man on the tape, Silver said.

Sterling is immediately barred from attending 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 also cannot participate in any league business going forward.

"This league is far bigger than any one owner, any one coach and any one player," Silver said.

The fine will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the Players Association, Silver said.

Sterling's comments were released over the weekend by TMZ and Deadspin, and numerous NBA owners and players have condemned them. Even President Barack Obama weighed in on the crisis, the first of Silver's brief tenure as commissioner.

Before Silver took the podium, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted out a photo of the NBA Constitution, saying "It exists for a reason."

The announcement of the sanctions came just hours before the Clippers will play Golden State in Game 5 of a knotted-up Western Conference first-round playoff series.

Several sponsors either terminated or suspended their business dealings with the team on Monday, though individual deals that some of those companies have with Clippers stars like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will continue and were not affected. Still, it was a clear statement that companies, like just about everyone inside the league, were outraged.

The issues raised when the tapes were released over the weekend represent just another chapter in Sterling's long history of being at the center of controversy.

In the past, he's faced extensive federal charges of civil rights violations and racial discrimination in his business dealings, and some of his race-related statements would be described as shocking.

He has also been sued in the past for sexual harassment by former employees, and even the woman who goes by the name "V. Stiviano" — purportedly the female voice on the tapes at the center of this scandal — describes Sterling in court documents as a man "with a big toothy grin brandishing his sexual prowess in the faces of the Paparazzi and caring less what anyone else thought, the least of which, his own wife."

Stiviano is being sued by Rochelle Sterling, who is seeking to reclaim at least $1.8 million in cash and gifts that her husband allegedly provided the woman.


  • Hypocricy
    Obviously a different standard being applied by left wing fascists in the mainstream media between a white Jew like Clippers owner Stirling to a black guy who mocks a disabled man. No one is calling for Shaq to be kicked out of the NBA. http://www.webpronews.com/shaquille-oneal-apologizes-for-mocking-disabled-man-2014-04
  • Victims?
    It is Donald Stirling's right to express his wishes that blacks do not come ot the games in association with his mistress. It is also his right to privately express his disregard for blacks. It is his right to be a racist. Just as it is the right of all the rappers and black celebs to spew anti-white venom. It crosses the line when an actual act of discrimination occurs, which is a a pickle to prove. Victims? Are they so thin-skinned? Or is it just their own racial hostility, immaturity, jealousy, and fear? And is it fear of being at a power disadvantage? Thsi was all about money and PC. Plain and simple. The nasty old man is entitled to his racsists wishes. It has no bearing whatsoever on the franchise he owns. If blacks were offended at his remarks, they can protest with their feet and pocketbooks. As I would if I felt a sleight that I could not live with. Otherwise, this is empty. The NBA is empty. I harbor no ill toward blacks. But it makes me angry that certain rappers have such hatred toward whites. I respect their right and freedom of expression. I just do nto buy their music. i woudl eb outraged if they were silenced. Then they woudl be true victims. Our country is betetr than that. Or was. And so is the NBA. Or was.
  • Elaboration on 'Free' Speech
    Jeff, the First Amendment is essentially a reinforcement of the separation of church and state. It clearly includes language about government not abridging freedom of speech, but is not absolute in that regard. If people hide behind 'freedom of speech' to incite, lie, distribute obscenity, are child pornographers, threaten others and a few other things dramatic consequences can (and should) result. The surreptitious lunatic observations of a rich octogenarian recorded illicitly by an adultery-friendly prostitute, though racist by community standards and vulgar at best, are still protected. But why are they not AS protected as, say, Snoop Dog's equally racist and more profane reply to Mr. Sterling? What is genuinely creepy to me is that Donald Sterling faces extreme consequences and Snoop Dog (and other black racists) face nothing. Again, I do not have a problem with the NBA's action. They can grant or revoke franchises to anyone they deem fit or unfit. Mr. Sterling is also a reportedly despicable slumlord as well. His mouth and actions got him into trouble and no one disputes that. My only point is to chide double standards by nosy holier-than-thous who obviously lack any discernible ability to mind their own business, then use stupid utterances like those of Mr. Sterling as a basis for grabbing a torch and corralling a witch to publicly burn. THAT is what is most offensive to me.
  • Nice Try, Evan Bour
    He is a registered republican. But facts and reality never seem to matter to folks like you.
  • A few things
    1. Sterling is a registered Republican and has been since 1998 (Google it there is a very good article in the LA Times) but like most extremely wealthy people he has in the past contributed to both major parties. 2. The year is 2014 and maybe it is just the fact that I'm a Gen Xer but I generally assume everything I do is "public" or at the very least has the possibilty of being. You should never say or do anything that you don't want on the news or front page of the paper. 3. We do have free speech in this country but we do not have freedom of consequences from that free speech. 4. I am sure he has signed contracts with the NBA that give them broad authority over him and his team or the wouldn't be able to do the things they are doing.
  • re;Defender of the Constitution
    It is quite troubling that after all of these rich, celebrity faux free speech issues that you still don't understand the first amendment applies only to the government. Society has always been and should be allowed to silence the racists you defend. What about the victims here? The players, coaches and tenants? And because SOME other people get away with being racist, that does not make you or Sterling right. Ever heard of two wrongs dont make a right? She says he wanted her to record their conversations, either way, the way not to be heard on tape being a racist is to not be a racist and say racist things in the first place. I can't believe I have to have this discussion in 2014.
    • Freedom of Speech
      I find the Sterling controversy troubling and creepy from a basic freedom standpoint. What Donald said was, in fact, reprehensible. The NBA has every right to grant or revoke franchises to/from whoever they see fit for almost any reason. Does anyone else share uneasiness about the manner in which this witch hunt has transpired? The man was recorded without permission by a glorified prostitute specifically to ignite this particular drama, something that would be inadmissable in court. Despite the vulgar nature of Mr. Sterling's commentary do we not still enjoy free speech by law, or has political correctness now trumped basic freedom? As long as witch hunting is now allowed based on hostile racist commentary how in the world are folks like Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Meek Mill and Game getting a pass for equally hostile, racist, profanity-laced and very public retorts? From what will they be banned for life? How is it black racists get lifetime free passes but white racists get lifetime bans? Why the double standard? As previously stated the country in which we reside is becoming increasingly creepy. It is quite troubling.
    • free speech fine
      $2.5 million in free speech fines will be handed over to the NAACP. The speech police industry is big money. The punishment here is overboard, as usual.
    • Evan Bour
      Donald Sterling was also WHITE.
    • Donald Sterling
      Remember folks, Donald Sterling is a DEMOCRAT.
    • doesn't look like banned for life would impact him for very long
      Looks to me like he is pretty much old enough that banned for life doesn't mean much, perhaps a few years. If he were 30 I could see this meaning something, with the golden parachute he will get selling the team for a Billion dollars, doesn't matter if he can attend a game or not.
    • should make him sell his team at a loss
      Why wouldn't the NBA make him sell his team at a loss to whoever wants it. Sounds like he may have done this on purpose so the team would demand a huge price point and he can collect a Billion dollars. Wheres the punishment in that. Fine him 2.5 million to him chump change and then he gets to sell his team for a billion dollars.
    • Forced Sale??
      I agree completely that this racist bigot needs to be banned and fined, but how will a sale of the franchise be forced upon Sterling? If he is the sole owner. who sets the price? What prevents him from selling the team to his kids for the same $15 million he paid for the team over 30 years ago? That would prevent those nasty capital gains taxes... The ban and fine are a done deal, but the forced sale is not....

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    1. Great article and post scripts by Mike L (Great addition to IBJ BTW). Bobby's stubborn as a mule, and doubt if he ever comes back to IU. But the love he would receive would be enormous. Hope he shows some time, but not counting on it.

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    4. Jim, your "misleading" numbers comment is spot on. This is the spin these posers are putting on it. News flash, fans: these guys lie. They are not publicly traded so no one holds them accountable for anything they say. The TV numbers are so miniscule to begin with any "increase" produces double digit "growth" numbers. It's ridiculous to think that anything these guys have done has awakened the marketplace. What have they done? Consolidate the season so they run more races on consecutive weekends? And this creates "momentum." Is that the same momentum you enjoy when you don't race between August and March? Keep in mind that you are running teams who barely make ends meet ragged over the summer to accomplish this brilliant strategy of avoiding the NFL while you run your season finale at midnight on the East Coast. But I should not obfuscate my own point: any "ratings increase" is exactly what Jim points to - the increased availability of NBC Sports in households. Look fans, I love the sport to but these posers are running it off a cliff. Miles wants to declare victory and then run for Mayor. I could go on and on but bottom line for God's sake don't believe a word they say. Note to Anthony - try doing just a little research instead of reporting what these pretenders say and then offering an "opinion" no more informed than the average fan.

    5. If he's finally planning to do the right thing and resign, why not do it before the election? Waiting until after means what - s special election at tax payer expense? Appointment (by whom?) thus robbing the voters of their chance to choose? Does he accrue some additional financial advantage to waiting, like extra pension payments? What's in it for him? That's the question that needs to be asked.