NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced today that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the league effective today.
See also: Rally Against Donald Sterling
The commish also indicated that he believed he had the
two-thirds three-quarters support of team owners to force Sterling to sell the team.
Silver made the statements at a press conference:
The moves come after racist remarks attributed to Sterling were publicized over the weekend. On audio released by TMZ, a man believed to be Sterling chastised his ex-girlfriend for posting a photo with Magic Johnson on Instagram. The man ID'd as Sterling said he didn't want her bringing “blacks” to Clippers games.
After a forensic analysis it appears the NBA believes the voice to be Sterling's, and Silver today said he personally believed it was him based on his 20 years of knowing of the Clips owner. [Added: Silver also said that Sterling acknowledged to the league it was his voice].
Silver said Sterling would be fined $2.5 million, the maximum possible under NBA rules. The cash “will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the Players Association,” according to an NBA statement.
In a statement, the league clarified the ban:
As 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.
See also: Donald Sterling's 6 Other Greatest Hits
During a subsequent press conference, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcettti praised the league's moves. He praised the league and Silver “for standing up behind this city and for what's right.”
With an anti-Sterling protest scheduled for the pre-game time of 6 p.m., Staples Center today announced increased security, including LAPD sweeps of vehicles closest to the arena.