BEIJING, April 30 (Xinhuanet) -- The US National Basketball Association has given Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, a life ban from the sport and a $2.5 million fine, over racist comments which were caught on tape. At a press conference in New York, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the Association will immediately begin efforts to force Sterling to sell the team.
"Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with The Clippers organization or the NBA. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, he may not be present at any Clippers facility and he may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team. He will also be barred from attending NBA Board of Governors meetings or participating in any other league activity. I am also fining Mr. Sterling the maximum amount under the NBA constitution. As for Mr. Sterling’s ownership interest in The Clippers, I will 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," Adam Silver said.
The controversy began over the weekend when a 10-minute recording of a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend was posted online. Sterling can be heard criticizing his girlfriend for associating with "black people."
Silver said an investigation into the recording concluded the voice was Sterling’s, and Sterling himself is reported to have confirmed it's his voice on tape. The NBA says Sterling’s comments were "deeply offensive and harmful."