Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Banned For Life From The NBA

| by Jonathan Wolfe

So long, Donald Sterling.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced moments ago that the racist Clippers owner is banned from the NBA for life.

“Effective immediately,” Silver said, “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 Clipper facility, and he may not participate in any business or player personal decisions involving the team.”

Silver said the league is unified behind the decision to ban Sterling.

"We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling's views," Silver said. "They simply have no place in the NBA. This league is far bigger than any one owner, any one coach and any one player."

In addition to the lifetime ban, Sterling has also been fined $2.5 million. The money from the fine will be donated to organizations working on anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts.

Silver said the league will begin working immediately to force a sale of the Clippers' team.

"As for Mr. Sterling's ownership interest in the Clippers," Silver said. "I will urge the board of governors to force a sale of the team and will do everything in my power to ensure that happens."

Silver added that Sterling confirmed that the voice heard making racist comments in the now-infamous audio recording was his.

The recording is not the first time Sterling has been caught in a controversy centered on racism. Sterling, who also owns a number of apartment complexes, made a large settlement payment to black and latino tenants who sued him after he allegedly kicked them out of their homes. Sterling allegedly refused to accept rent from the minority tenants and then tried to evict them on grounds that they didn’t pay their rent.

Elgin Baylor, a former NBA player and Clippers GM, filed a lawsuit against Sterling in 2009 claiming he was underpaid and treated “as a token because of his race.”

Baylor says Sterling told him he wanted a “Southern plantation type structure” for the team which composed of “poor black boys from the south playing for a white head coach.”