Clippers owner 'banned for life' from all NBA activities - KMSP-TV

Clippers owner 'banned for life' from all NBA activities

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(KMSP) - NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday an NBA investigation determined Clippers owner Donald Sterling was the man in the recording of a "racist" conversation with his girlfriend, and he will be banned for life from the league.

SWIFT AND DECISIVE

Sterling may not attend NBA games, practices or be present at any Clippers facility and may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team or any other league activity. He has also been fined $2.5 million, the maximum amount under the league's constitution, funds to be donated to organizations dedicated to tolerance efforts selected by the league and the players association.

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

The process to force the sale of the Clippers will begin immediately, and he'll do everything in his power to ensure that happens, Silver said.

MAGIC JOHNSON REACTS

Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, who was mentioned in the recording, took to Twitter to express his approval of the ruling.

@MagicJohnson:
Commissioner Silver showed great leadership in banning LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life.

@MagicJohnson: Former and current NBA players are very happy and satisfied with Commissioner Silver's ruling.

@MagicJohnson: The people who I'm happiest for are Coach Doc Rivers, the Clippers players and fans.

THE RECORDINGS

TMZ posted a 10-minute recording of a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend, whose legal name is V. Stiviano, from April 9. One piece of the conversation involved a photo posted to Instagram featuring Stiviano and Magic Johnson. The NBA's investigation ultimately determined the voice on the recording was Sterling, and at the press conference Tuesday, Silver called his sentiments "deeply offensive and harmful."

"In your lousy f**ing Instagrams, you don't have to have yourself with -- walking with black people," Sterling says in the recording

"If it's white people, it's okay?" Stiviano responds. "If it was Larry Bird, would it make a difference?"

"I've known [Magic Johnson] well, and he should be admired. ... I'm just saying that it's too bad you can't admire him privately," the man on the recording says. "Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don't put [Johnson] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games."

NOT THE FIRST TIME

The league takes into consideration all past actions of an individual as part of an investigation, and Sterling has a history of fighting discrimination claims in court. Those past activities were considered when determining his "fitness" for any NBA position, Silver said.

A top Clippers front office member accused Sterling of running the team with a "plantation" mentality. In 2009, executive vice president and general manager of the Clippers Elgin Baylor -- an African American and NBA All-Star -- filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination against Sterling in 2009, saying Sterling didn't pay him enough and treated him "as a token because of his race."

Prosecutors have also accused his rental company of refusing to lease Beverly Hills apartments to African Americans. Plus, NBA vet and former Clippers coach Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has denounced Sterling's reputation.

TIMBERWOLVES OWNER STATEMENT

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor issued the following statement after Silver's announcement:

"The Timberwolves stand firmly in full support of the swift and impactful action taken today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. His leadership and direction in this matter is completely appropriate and appreciated by the Timberwolves organization. We stand unified with Commissioner Silver today and reaffirm our organization's zero tolerance approach to the type of reprehensible behavior which caused this action."

CLIPPERS PRESS ON

"Racism -- injustice of any kind -- should always be front and center, and we should never run from it," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said.

The Clippers website leads directly to a simple message: "WE ARE ONE."

The news broke just before Game 4 of the Western Conference playoff series in which Warriors guard Stephen Curry lifted his team past the Clippers, who threw off their warmups and wore logo-less apparel before the game began, to a 118-97 victory that evened the best-of-7 series 2-2.

Game 5 will take place tonight at 9:30 p.m. CT at the Staples Center.

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