Shalom Life | May 05, 2014

Donald Sterling Banned From NBA for Life

League commissioner Adam Silver has handed Sterling the harshest penalty possible, and fining him $2.5 million

By: Daniel Koren

Published: April 29th, 2014 in Sports » Local

The entire world has been reeling from this weekend's events, during which Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was caught on tape admonishing his girlfriend/mistress V. Stivano for associating with black people, after she posted a pic of her and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson to her Instagram account.

The madness continued Sunday as Deadspin acquired an extended audioclip of Sterling's racist rants, where he could be heard saying black people in Israel are treated like dogs, and other such ignorant, offensive rhetoric.

The world has since responded to Sterling's comments, in fact, everyone save for Sterling himself have commented on the incident, from President Barack Obama to Abe Foxman of the ADL to Steve Nash to Magic Johnson.

And, needless to say, not a soul has had kind words to say about the disgraced owner.

That's why hopefully NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's decision may ease the pain that the international community has been facing, but particularly within Los Angeles, where the Clippers have been fighting against the Golden State Warriors in the first series of the NBA 2014 playoffs.

Silver handed Sterling the harshest penalty he could bestow, banning him from the NBA for life. It is the first step in forcing the bigot to sell the Clippers and rid the league of him forever.

“I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him,” said Silver.

Indeed. NBA team owners have already applauded Silver's decision to ban Sterling, the league's longest-tenured owner with an approximate $2 billion worth.

The penalties will also see Sterling pay $2.5 million, which will go towards anti-discrimination and tolerance organizations selected by the NBA and the NBA Players Association. The penalties handed to Sterling are the harshest ever delivered to a league owner in the NBA, and one of the harshest in professional sports in general.

“We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views,” Silver said. “They simply have no place in the NBA.”

Silver added that, though Sterling has still not responded on the comments, he did admit that he is the man on the tape.

Sterling will now be banned from attending any NBA games or practices, nor can he visit any Clippers' office or facility, or be involved in any way with the team, or the league.

“This league is far bigger than any one owner, any one coach and any one player,” said Silver.

Silver will need 75 percent of team owners to be on his side, meaning 23/30 team owners have to vote in favor of completely forcing Sterling out of the league.

Given the amount of bad publicity surrounding Sterling on this, it doesn't seem likely that anyone will vote to keep him in.

“This has all happened in three days, and so I am hopeful there will be no long-term damage to the league and to the Clippers organization,” Silver said. “But as I said earlier, I’m outraged so I certainly understand other people’s outrage. This will take some time and appropriate healing will be necessary.”

Following his announcement, the website of the Los Angeles Clippers bore a single message: "We are one."

“We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver today. Now the healing process begins,” the Clippers added in a statement.

Now they hopefully can get back to focusing on the task at hand: defeating the Warriors, who they face tonight at 10:30pm, EST.

Other heads of basketball state have applauded Silver for his actions, including Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment which issued the following statement after Silver's address:

“As a proud member of the National Basketball Association, we stand strongly in our belief that the comments attributed to Mr. Sterling have no place in our society or sport. Our organization will always work to contribute to a culture of diversity and acceptance in this league and fully support the actions taken today. We thank commissioner Adam Silver, and all of the NBA players, for their leadership on this important issue.”

“Commissioner Silver thank you for protecting our beautiful and powerful league!! Great leader!!,” said one LeBron James via his Twitter.

Magic Johnson added that he and the city of Los Angeles are "proud and thankful" that Silver resolved the issue so quickly.

“When you get this many Lakers to stand up for the Clippers, you know something big is happening in L.A.,” added Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We are a single team here today, a team not only speaking out for what we’re against — racism, hatred, bigotry, intolerance — but what we’re for. We’re for great basketball.”

Right before Silver made his address, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted a photo of the NBA Constitution. Accompanying the photo, the caption reads “It exists for a reason.”

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