The NBA banned Donald Sterling for life Tuesday, in addition to slapping the Los Angeles Clippers owner with a $2.5 million fine, the NBA commissioner announced during a press conference.
“I am banning Mr. Sterling for life,” commissioner Adam Silver said, noting that the Clippers owner will be prohibited from attending any games or practices.
Silver added that he will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team.
“This has been a painful moment for all members of the NBA family,” he said.
Sterling, who has owned the basketball franchise for nearly three decades, had been under investigation by the NBA for alleged comments where he repeatedly asks his girlfriend why she associates with minorities and instructs her “not to bring [black people] to my games.”
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” Sterling said in a recorded conversation with his girlfriend V. Stiviano, who is both black and Mexican.
Silver confirmed during Tuesday’s press conference that the voice on the recordings is Sterling’s.
The NBA said that the money collected form the $2.5 million fine will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination efforts.
Following the announcement, the L.A. Clippers changed their homepage to read, “We Are One.”
Over the weekend, President Barack Obama described the comments as “incredibly offensive racist statements.”
“When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk. That’s what happened here,” Obama said.
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