Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was banned for life by the NBA and fined $2.5 million for making racist comments.
Under the punishment laid down Tuesday by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Sterling may not associate with the team or the league after it was determined that his was the voice making the racist rant, which included comments about black Jews in Israel. Along with the fine, Sterling will be pressured to sell the team.
“I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team,” said Silver, who like Sterling is Jewish.
Sterling may not attend Clippers games or practices, and cannot enter any Clippers facility, Silver said. He also was barred from making business or player decisions and from NBA Board of Governors meetings or other activities.
Silver said the fine was the maximum allowed by the National Basketball Association. The money will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and anti-racism.
The commissioner, who is just two months into his tenure, said Sterling was interviewed during the investigation.
Silver called the remarks “deeply offensive and harmful” and said he was “personally distraught” that the remarks came from someone within the NBA organization. He said they had “no place in the NBA.”
TMZ had published a 10-minute recording of the rant on its website late Friday, saying the recording was a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend.
On Sunday, extended audio from a conversation between a man identified as Sterling and his model girlfriend V. Stiviano was released by the website Deadspin in which Sterling is heard explaining that his views reflect the way the world works. As evidence, he says that black Jews in Israel “are just treated like dogs.”
Jewish groups have roundly criticized Sterling for his remarks.
Sterling, a lawyer and real estate owner born Donald Tokowitz to Jewish immigrant parents, bought the Clippers in 1981. He currently is the longest-tenured owner in the NBA.
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