UK & World News

  • 30 April 2014, 1:10

Clippers Owner Banned For Life For Race Row

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA for making racist comments.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league would encourage its board of governors to force the sale of the basketball club.

Mr Silver also levied a $2.5m fine on the 80-year-old owner for his "deeply offensive and harmful" remarks.

The punishment follows the release of a 10-minute conversation, posted on website TMZ, in which a voice attributed to Sterling is heard questioning his girlfriend's association with "black people".

Mr Silver said the league's investigation confirmed that the voice on the recording is Sterling's.

The Clippers owner is heard telling his girlfriend, named by the website as V Stiviano, that she should not bring black people to his team's games.

The comments sparked outrage around the NBA and across the US.

Mr Silver said: "Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic league.

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

Sterling is banned from attending any NBA games or teampractises. He also is barred from participating in any business or player personnel decisions involving the Clippers.

Leading up to the punishment, players, including members of the Clippers, protested by turning their team warm-ups inside out during recent NBA playoff games.

Some of the league's biggest stars, including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, expressed their desire to see Sterling deposed.

On Tuesday, James wrote on Twitter: "Commissioner Silver thank you for protecting our beautiful and powerful league!! Great leader!!"

NBA legend Magic Johnson, who is referenced in Sterling's conversation, also commended Mr Silver's response, writing on Twitter that the NBA commissioner "showed great leadership" in banning Sterling.

The scandal prompted severalbusinesses to distance themselves from the Clippers by suspending their advertising deals with the team.

Sterling has not commented on the matter since the emergence of the audio recordings over the weekend.

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