DENVER (CBS4) – The NBA has brought the hammer down on the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. It’s the dramatic fallout from the racist remarks made by Donald Sterling, and Denver Nuggets President and Governor Josh Kroenke supports the punishment.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday that Sterling has been banned from the NBA for life and also hit him with a $2.5 million fine. The announcement came as the Clippers prepare for their first home playoff game since the scandal broke.
“Effective immediately I am banning Mr. Sterling for life,” Silver said at the news conference. “As for ownership interest in the Clippers, I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team.”
Sterling was allegedly recorded making racist comments to his former girlfriend, V. Stiviano. Silver says Sterling admitted the voice on the recording was his.
“Well then, if you don’t feel … don’t come to my games. Don’t bring black people, and don’t come,” Sterling is heard saying in the recording.
Current and former players backed the NBA’s decision, along with leaders from teams across the league, including Kroenke.
“Kroenke Sports and Entertainment and the Denver Nuggets wholeheartedly and emphatically support Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision that Donald Sterling be fined and banned for life from any involvement with the National Basketball Association,” Kroenke said in a prepared statement. “Mr. Sterling’s words have absolutely no place in our working family or in a global sport that values inclusion, diversity and tolerance of people regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.”
“The players believe the commissioner has done his duty,” former player Kevin Johnson said.
“I am just thrilled with what Commissioner Silver did,” former player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said.
The Clippers and Golden State Warriors are tied at two games apiece in their playoff series. Before their last playoff game the Clippers warmed up with their shirts inside out to hide the team’s logo. The team’s website is now in black with the words “We Are One.”
It’s not clear how the 80-year-old billionaire is going to respond to the news.