The NBA has banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and given him the maximum permitted fine following the release of audio of Sterling making racist remarks to his former girlfriend. Commissioner Adam Silver said that Sterling will still remain owner of the team under league bylaws, but he urged the league’s board of governors — its 30 owners – to force a sale of the team.
Silver told reporters that he spoke with Sterling during the league’s investigation upon the release of the audio, and confirmed with him that the voice expressing the “hateful opinions” was Sterling’s.
Prior to Silver’s announcement, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban warned that ousting Sterling could prove to be “a slippery slope.” While he called Sterling’s comments ”abhorrent,” Cuban said the league has “very, very careful” in ”making blanket statements about what people say and think, as opposed to what they do.”
Sterling’s comments drew widespread condemnation from current and former players, coaches, other team owners, commentators, lawmakers, and even President Obama.