NBA Bans Donald Sterling For Life, Issues $2.5 Million Fine

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling attends the NBA playoff game on April 21, 2014 in Los Angeles. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty)

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed members of the news media this afternoon and announced a significant punishment for Los Angeles Clippers Owner Donald Sterling, who was caught making racist comments about African Americans over the weekend.

Silver said that the league has made a decision to ban Sterling from the NBA for life and fine him $2.5 million—the maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution. Commissioner Silver added that Sterling would be barred from any contact with his team or the league. In addition to the financial penalty and league excommunication, Silver said that he and NBA team owners will attempt to force Sterling to sell the team.

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

Silver, who spoke with apparent outrage, said that even though Sterling's remarks were shared in private, they are now public and represent his views. The NBA obtained the audio recordings, which were initially released by TMZ, and verified in an investigation that Sterling was in fact the individual making the comments. Furthermore, Silver added that Sterling himself confirmed he was the man on the recordings.

"The hateful opinions voiced by that man are those of Mr. Sterling," said Silver. "The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful. That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage. Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multicultural and multiethnic league."

Silver said that he was personally distraught by the comments made by Sterling, which have caused current and former players, coaches, fans and partners of the NBA to "question their very association with the league."

Now that Sterling has been banned, Silver said he is barred from attending any NBA games or practices, he may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business involving the team. He is also barred from attending any NBA Board of Governors meetings, or any other league activity.

The money collected from the $2.5 million fine will go to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts. Furthermore, Silver said he would personally urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force Sterling to sell the team.

"I will do everything in my power to ensure that happens," added Silver, who said he spoke with several owners who issued their "full support."

Sports Commentator Ibrahim Abdul Matin weighs in on the penalty and the way forward for the league.

What do you think of the punishment? Vote in our poll below.


Ibrahim Abdul-Matin


T.J. Raphael

Comments [5]


The problem of racial discrimination is it is deep seated -- a true lack of understanding that we are all brothers and sisters from the same origin and that the color of our skin is only a matter of pigmentation, inside we are also all the same.

However, to punish a person for stating that they don't like a black person in a private conversation is and have the conversation recorded and made public is a crime in itself.

Ir is not a crime to have and opinion and express a negative opinion in private. It is not a crime to have the opinion that you are better than other people because of the color of their skin. However it is a crime to hurt another person because of the color of their skin or any other reason -- that is a crime!

For other people to destroy a person because of a racial comment made in private is fascinating to me.

The sponsors of the Clippers have rescinded their support of the the whole Clippers Team. The NBA have not only banned the Owner of the Clippers from all Clippers games, practices and business dealing with his own Team, but from every NBA game and stadium and fined him two and one half million dollars.

This man was raised by bigoted parents, it is bread into his whole upbringing and thought process. Why don't we just hunt down everyone that doesn't like other people and throw them out of the Country?

This feeding frenzy and mob mentality is also criminal. The Clippers's owner Donald
Sterling is being persecuted because of the way he was raised.

I don't feel the same way about people of other races and backgrounds, I do not like to hear discriminatory remarks and thankfully I was not raised in a household that taught discrimination--but to ruin a man or a woman because of a discriminatory remark is also a crime. If he committed suicide would this mob mentality cease?

Who is winning by perpetuating the feeding frenzy? The Media of course, the Corporate Sponsors of course, and the political celebrities of course. It's a classic uninformed reasoning that a person can elevate himself by putting another person down.

What this mob who wants to ruin this man for saving the wrong thing needs to consider is "What would Yashuah ha’Mashiach (Jesus Christ) do?" And remember his words: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Gal 6:7-9 and he also said: "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matt 6:9-14

I might be wrong, but I have been told that the United States of America is a Christian nation; however, we seem say one thing and so another or as Apostle Paul said" "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." 2 Tim 3:1-5

I think we should all take the high road and forgive Donald Sterling for his stupid remarks, and this forgiveness should start with Michael Jordon.

Apr. 29 2014 06:34 PM
Unheard from Brooklyn

If its a contractual issue then I appreciate the clarity. If the contract specifically states a person can't be racist then so be it.

Racism is appalling but so is mandated behavior. I find something off about this situation. I can't articulate it.


Apr. 29 2014 04:39 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Unheard from Brooklyn, you misunderstand. This is not a free speech issue. This is a contractual issue.

Sterling has right to say whatever he wants, within 1st Amendment limits.
Players/ fans/ the NBA/ sponsors/ etc. have a right to disagree, to not want to play with/support/etc. him and to disassociate from him in their economic and moral interests.

Apr. 29 2014 04:08 PM
Robert Thomas from Santa Clara

Journalists are funny. "Sports Journalism" is a joke.

Spectator sports are show business. They're operated by sociopathic serial liars interested only in wealth.

Why do so many swallow the fantasy promulgated by sports media that spectator sports are pursued with any humanist aim?

Apr. 29 2014 04:07 PM
Unheard from Brooklyn

What rights are we going to retain in 21st century America? A reasonable expectation of privacy seems to be a quaint concept today. Are we now attacking free speech. This guy allegedly said racist remarks. Stupid remarks. We no longer have a right to be stupid? That is absurd. I am not saying nothing is wrong here. I am saying I enjoy the rights provided me in the bill of rights. As does Sterling. Why not, as many are fond of saying these days let the market decide.

Go Nets!

Apr. 29 2014 03:29 PM

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