News / USA

NBA Bans Clippers Owner Over Racial Comments

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addresses the media during a news conference in New York, April 29, 2014.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addresses the media during a news conference in New York, April 29, 2014.
VOA News
National Basketball Commissioner Adam Silver banished for life Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling on Tuesday in a move aimed at calming public outrage over racist comments he made.

"Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life," Silver said during a New York press conference.

Silver also said he will urge the other NBA owners to force Sterling to sell the Clippers' franchise, noting he is confident he will get the necessary support from the owners. The sale would take a 75 percent vote of the 29 other team owners.

The Clippers owner also will be ordered to pay a $2.5 million fine, said Silver.

Silver said the money would be donated to anti-discrimination, and pro-tollerance organizations to be selected by the NBA and the players association. 

In addition, the NBA commissioner said he would do everything in his power to urge the board of governors to force a sale of the team.

"I will do everything in my power to assure that happens," Silver said.

The decision came after an investigation that included an interview of Sterling, the commissioner said. Silver said the investigation concluded that "the hateful opinions voiced by the man heard in those recordings are those of Mr. Sterling."

After Silver announced the punishment, former NBA player Kevin Johnson praised the commissioner for moving swiftly to address the controversy. Johnson, now the mayor of the city of Sacramento, California, has been acting as a special adviser to the players union since the story broke.
FILE - Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (R) and V. Stiviano (L) watch the Clippers play the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles.FILE - Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (R) and V. Stiviano (L) watch the Clippers play the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles.
FILE - Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (R) and V. Stiviano (L) watch the Clippers play the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles.
FILE - Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (R) and V. Stiviano (L) watch the Clippers play the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles.
The league moved quickly to address the scandal, which broke over the weekend when Website published a 10-minute recording in which a voice said to be Sterling's criticized a friend for associating with "black people.''

The news prompted a wave of outrage from athletes, coaches and fans of the NBA, which was a leader in racial integration in U.S. sports and where most of the players are black.

One after another on Monday, team sponsors such as auto dealer CarMax Inc, Virgin America, State Farm, Kia Motors America, music mogul P. Diddy's water brand, AQUAHydrate, Red Bull and Yokohama Tire all announced they were stepping back from the team.

Some advertisers have asked to move their commercials out of the national broadcast of Tuesday's Clippers playoff game against the Golden State Warriors by TNT, owned by Time Warner Inc, and the local airing on a sports channel owned by 21st Century Fox, according to sources familiar with the matter.

President Barack Obama, the first U.S. black president and a basketbal fan, called the comments attributed to Sterling "incredibly offensive racist statements,'' and U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner described them as "reprehensible.''

"I don't know the bylaws of the league, but he has to go,'' filmmaker Spike Lee said on CNN late Monday. ``He's tainted all the other 29 partners, he's tainted the league, and he's tainted America. He sees his players as slaves.''

Commissioner Silver said he was personally distraught that "the views came from within and caused current and former players to question their association with the league."

"That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage," he added.

Sterling has a history of racism. In 2009, the real estate mogul paid a record $2.725 million to settle a federal housing discrimination case claiming he sought to exclude black and Hispanic tenants from his rental properties in Los Angeles.

Sterling bought the Clippers for $12 million in 1981. Forbes magazine now values the franchise at $575 million.

The Clippers are now competing in the NBA playoffs. In a silent protest at their playoff game on Sunday, Clippers' players turned their warm-up suits inside out so that no team logos were showing.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Nearly Every Job in America Mapped in Detail

A nifty map pinpoints practically every job in the United States, revealing the economic character of America’s metropolitan areas, which also helps to inform the local culture

Corruption Busting Is Her Game

South African activist is building 'international online community of thousands of corruption fighters'

Former SAF Businessman Gives Books, Love of Reading to Students

Steve Tsakaris now involved in nonprofit Read to Rise, which distributes books in Soweto, encourages lower-grade primary school students to read

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Nazarene
April 29, 2014 11:57 PM
it always start with the jews... but it never end with the jews... if you are feeling smug about this case, the governmental systematic destruction of a self made men... who may have said something un-politically-correct...wait and see what the Obama regime has in store for you... Christians and Jews stand united against this squalid Islamic regime...!!!

by: max ajida from: pretoria
April 29, 2014 10:16 PM
Sterling poses to sports with his racial spats. It is so sad to have people like him involved in racisism. There is world wide belief that sports can defeat racisism tendancies.

by: eness from: asbury park, nj
April 29, 2014 3:02 PM
It's great that the NBA moved swiftly on this -- not just to do damage control to its image and loss of revenue, but also to demonstrate the seriousness of this type of conduct and the attitude that good people must exhibit in the face of blatant racism. It's great too for the benefit of Fox News that the NBA confirmed that the voice on the tape was indeed that of Donald "Bundy" Sterling. However, I believe a much better approach than a life time ban would've been to give Sterling a choice -- either a lifetime ban and the other penalties imposed, or an indefinite ban with his return subject to a minimum period of suspension, a $10 million fine to be used for diversity and tolerance programs, and the requirement that he submit to and successfully complete an NBA approved extensive sensitivity and tolerance counseling program, and do a minimum number of hours of labor in a latrine or water supply construction project in Africa or in the "projects" of one of our major cities. This proposed alternative together with an apology and evidence of real contrition would have been preferable for a number of reasons. Lastly, I'm not sure how legal or desirable it is to ban him from attending any NBA games anywhere or at any time given the fact that plenty of non-owner racists attend NBA games and a host of other sporting events. Just look at some of the fans from Brooklyn, NY. As a non-owner, his right of free speech no longer impacts the league as an owner's ill comments do. As such, how do you ban him as a fan from attending games, albeit as a racist without remorse?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs