NEW YORK (CBSDFW.COM) — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced on Tuesday that Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life and fined $2.5 million for allegedly making racist statements.
Commissioner Silver says the league will immediately begin working to force Sterling to sell the team.
After a thorough investigation by the NBA, the league determined that the voice heard on the tape, acquired by TMZ, was indeed the voice of the Clippers owner. Sterling also acknowledged that it was his voice in a private conversation.
Silver made it clear that Sterling’s comments do not represent the multi-cultural nature of the NBA.
“Whether or not these remarks were initially shared in private, they are now public, and they represent his views,” said Silver.
The $2.5 million fine levied by the league will be donated to anti-discrimination organizations.
Under NBA rules, 75-percent of the league’s owners must approve the removal of a franchise owner, which Commissioner Silver believes he has.
“I’ve spoken to several owners, and I have their full support,” Silver said.
Under the ban, Sterling will not be allowed to attend any NBA games or practices and cannot be present at any Clippers facility. He is also not allowed to make any business decisions involving the team.
Silver said that the league is unsure if Sterling will fight the ban.
Sterling bought the Clippers in 1981 for $12 million. Forbes recently estimated the value of the Clippers at $575 million.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban called Sterling’s comments “abhorrent” on Monday, but stopped short of suggesting a lifetime ban.
“There’s no place for racism in the NBA, any business I’m associated with,” Cuban said. “But at the same time, that’s a decision I make. I think you’ve got to be very, very careful when you start making blanket statements about what people say and think, as opposed to what they do.”
Cuban agreed with the commissioner’s decision on Twitter shortly after the announcement.
In a text to 105.3 The Fan’s Chris Arnold, Cuban further stated that when it comes to voting, he would likely support Sterling’s removal as owner of the team.
“My tweet said it all. I support [Silver] and want Sterling out.”
Mavericks guard Jose Calderon also expressed his gratitude to the commissioner on Twitter.
In Monday night’s home playoff game against the Spurs, the Mavericks wore black socks as a sign of solidarity with Clippers’ players.
The Clippers resume their first-round series against the Warriors on Tuesday night at the Staples Center. The team released the following statement in response to the decision.
“We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver today. Now the healing process begins.”
The team’s official website was unavailable on Tuesday, instead just displaying a Clippers logo and the words “WE ARE ONE.”
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