Donald Sterling Sanctioned: Adam Silver Moves to Eject Clippers Owner

Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2014

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued sweeping sanctions against Donald Sterling on Tuesday morning in response to controversial remarks about blacks purportedly made by Sterling. Silver said the Clippers owner was banned from any association with the team for life and fined $2.5 million. Silver added that he would urge other owners to force a sale of the team.

Silver said the lifetime ban would stand regardless of whether Sterling was ultimately forced to sell the team he’s owned for 33 years. The commissioner said the NBA constitution allowed owners to eject Sterling if three-quarters of the owners voted in favor of such a move and that he would commence the process of expulsion immediately.

“I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him,” said Silver, who appeared visibly agitated throughout his remarks.

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Under the terms of Silver’s punishment, the 80-year-old Sterling cannot attend any NBA games or practices and is not allowed to inhabit any Clippers facility or participate in any business or player personnel decision involving the team. Sterling is also barred from the NBA’s board of governor meetings and other league activities, Silver said.

The commissioner said the $2.5-million fine was the maximum allowed under the league constitution and would be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts. {snip}

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Silver said it did not matter that Sterling’s comments were recorded without his knowledge in a private setting. “Whether or not these remarks were shared in private,” Silver said, “they are now public and they represent his views.”

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