Today, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver dropped the hammer on LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling by banning him for life for his racist comments over the weekend. Sterling is banned from ever attending any NBA game or practice for the rest of his life.
Silver will also ask the other franchise owners to strip Sterling from ownership of the Clippers. The other owners, who are likely to unanimously vote for removal, can make a motion to have any owner removed from ownership of an NBA team.
Silver and his staff determined the voice on the audio on the alleged recording was indeed Sterling and acted appropriately. Silver looked visibly upset during the press conference, as if he was holding back a tremendous amount of rage.
Sterling has a long history of racism and has no place in the NBA or any other similar organisation. His comments were ignorant and hateful. This is not the first time he has done something of this nature, and it begs the question as to why he wasn’t punished in the past by former commissioner David Stern.
The LA Clippers, who are in the middle of a first round playoff series with the Golden State Warriors, made an impactful statement on Sunday. The players came out for warmups, removed their Clippers warm-up jackets and threw them in the middle of the court. They were wearing an inside out shirt where you couldn’t see the logo as well as black socks and armbands during the game.
Players from around the league have expressed their displeasure with being in any way associated with Sterling. Pacers guard George Hill stated that if his owner had made those statements, his season would have been over.
Pacers forward David West has been very vocal about his ire towards Sterling.
“I’m glad they did something to remove him.,” West said. “He still has ownership, still will profit, but it’s a step in the right direction. We’re not going to tolerate people like him associated with the game we play, and I’m glad that process has started.”
People from all around the country have reacted to the news:
Commissioner Silver showed great leadership in banning LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 29, 2014
I agree 100% with Commissioner Silvers findings and the actions taken against Donald Sterling — Mark Cuban (@mcuban) April 29, 2014
— Michael Grady (@Grady) April 29, 2014
Banned for life!
— FanSided (@FanSided) April 29, 2014
Can’t even attend a game, Donald Sterling. Good riddance. — Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelCBS) April 29, 2014
LIFE! — Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) April 29, 2014
“Banned for life”
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) April 29, 2014
Adam Silver: GOAT.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) April 29, 2014
Has a fan base ever been as elated to have a commissioner hammer its team than Clippers fans right now?
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) April 29, 2014
Thank You, Commissioner Silver for doing precisely wanted NEEDED to be done. The message has been sent.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) April 29, 2014
Early reports indicated that Sterling has no intention of selling the team and will fight to retain ownership. There is even a report that he plans to sue the NBA. If this man had any sense, he would give in and slink away, never to be heard in public again.