LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Banned From NBA For Racist Remarks

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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is no longer allowed to sit courtside at his team’s games, or any other NBA games for that matter, thanks to racist comments he made being publicized last Friday.

During a press conference, Tuesday, April 29th, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that Sterling is permanently banned from all league games, practices, and contact with players. He was also fined $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution. Silver said the funds would be donated to anti-discrimination organizations, which will be selected by the NBA Players Association.
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NBA Commissioner Anderson Silva can take disciplinary measures including fining Sterling up to $1 million and suspending
him attending games, having contact with the team, and interacting with the front office.




Several other people, including popular NBA figures, however, have refrained from keeping their silence on the situation.

At practice Saturday, Clippers coach Doc Rivers shared his thoughts…


Clippers coach Doc Rivers said
the team considered boycotting Game 4 of
their first-round playoff series…

Rivers told an unusually large media throng after practice at the University of San Francisco…


“I think the biggest statement we can make as men, not as black men, as men, is to stick together and show how strong we are as a group,” Rivers said. “Not splinter. Not walk. It’s easy to protest. The protest will be in our play.”

Everybody except for the embattled Clippers owner, who has a decades-long history of discrimination and offensive behavior, seemed to have a response.

The league said it was investigating the recording posted on TMZ’s website, calling the comments “disturbing and offensive.” Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, a target of Sterling’s remarks, said he wouldn’t attend Clippers’ games as long as Sterling was the owner. Miami Heat star LeBron James asked new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to take aggressive measures, saying “there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league.”

“Obviously, if the reports are true it’s unacceptable in our league,” James said. “It doesn’t matter, white, black or Hispanic == all across the races it’s unacceptable. As the commissioner of our league they have to make a stand. They have to be very aggressive with it. I don’t know what it will be, but we can’t have that in our league.”

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said players even discussed boycotting Game 4 of their first-round playoff series at Golden State on Sunday during a 45-minute team meeting but quickly decided against it.

–>

An audio recording of a conversation between Sterling and his mistress, V. Stiviano, about her public association with black people at Clippers games was posted on TMZ’s website late Friday, April 25th.

Among several other racial statements, the audio revealed Sterling stating, “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” He also stated, “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in. You can do whatever you want.  The little I ask you is not to promote it on [Instagram] … and not to bring them to my games.”

Two days after the media (and the rest of the world) got wind of the recording, the Clippers faced the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series. They collectively came out wearing blank, red warm-up T-shirts inside out, and tossed their warm-up jackets emblazoned with the Clippers logo to the floor at half-court. They all also wore black socks and wristbands/armbands. All were tactics to convey the team’s protest against Sterling’s racist remarks.

The Warriors ended up beating the Clippers 118-97. It’s not determinable whether or not the Sterling controversy brought forth the lost, but it’s no doubt that it contributed to it. However, any distraction the team experienced from Sterling’s remarks will potentially be lifted thanks to the NBA’s solemn penalization of his conduct.

Shortly after Sterling’s racist comments were made public, commissioner Silver said the league would investigate the recordings. Now that it’s been determined the voice on the phone was indeed Sterling’s, he will no longer hav
e any role in the operations of his team nor will he be able to attend NBA Board of Governors meetings or participate in any other league activities.

With regard to Sterling’s ownership interest in the Clippers, Silver said he would “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.” A three-fourths vote among the league’s owners is needed to remove control of a team from another owner.

His offensive comments not only affected NBA players but people from all walks of life across the world. Everyone from Magic Johnson—who was targeted in some of Sterling’s remarks and is also reportedly interested in purchasing the Clippers—to Lebron James to President Barack Obama voiced their disapproval of Sterling’s comments. Further, everyday citizens, many of them NBA fans, expressed their disagreement with the real estate mogul’s remarks.

It’s been revealed that this isn’t the first time Sterling has come under fire for discriminatory conduct. Sterling was sued by former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor of age discrimination and harassment; he claimed he was forced out of his job, which he held for more than two decades. He also accused Sterling of racial discrimination; this portion of the lawsuit was dropped, however. In March 2011, a jury denied Baylor’s request for about $2 million. He was awarded no money.

According to Fox News, in 2009, Sterling “agreed to pay $2.73 million to settle allegations by the government that he refused to rent apartments to Hispanics and blacks and to families with children in 2009.” The Justice Department sued Sterling in August 2006 for allegations of housing discrimination in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles.

On another note, Sterling’s mistress, V. Stiviano, who is mixed with black and Mexican, is being sued by his estranged wife, Shelly, whom he’s separated with, for allegedly attempting to embezzle around $1.8 million from the Sterling family.

Neither Sterling nor Stiviano has publicly commented on their recorded conversation or Sterling’s ban from the NBA thus far.

By @Lou4President

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