BA commissioner Adam Silver dropped the hammer on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling after allegations of Sterling making racist comments in a recorded conversation. Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA and has been fined $2.5 million for the comments.
The conversation was between Sterling and his girlfriend V. Stiviano. In the conversation Stiviano said, “I don't understand, I don't see your views. I wasn't raised the way you were raised.”
Sterling responds with, “Well then, if you don't feel - don't come to my games. Don't bring black people and don't come.”
“Do you know that you have a whole team that's black, that plays for you?” Stiviano asked.
“You just, do I know? I support them and give them food and clothes and cars and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? Do I know that I have - Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners that created the league?” Sterling said.
The conversation continued on with how Sterling wanted Stiviano to delete “all the black people” from her Instagram, how black Jews are “a hundred percent, fifty, a hundred percent” less than white jews and comparing racism to the Holocaust.
Sterling ends the conversation with, “There's no racism here. If you don't want to be... walking... into a basketball game with a certain... person, is that racism?”
Silver wants Sterling to sell his franchise.
“I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners I need to remove him,” Silver said.
The Chicago Bulls released a statement saying they “will support recommendation” for Sterling to “relinquish his ownership.”
The Atlanta Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson said “[Silver] acted swiftly and appropriately with the severity of the penalty and I strongly support his decision.”
As for who will be purchasing the Clippers, there are rumors floating around saying that former NBA legend Magic Johnson is interested in buying the team.
According to ABC, “the NBA Players Association threatened to boycott the league if swift, punitive action wasn't taken” against Sterling.
“We had a call with the commissioner, with the executive committee representatives [of the Board of Governors], and with players across the league, and the commissioner asked us what our views were,” said Roger Mason, the NBPA (National Basketball Player's Association) vice president. “We made it clear the players were ready to boycott.”
The situation will continue to develop as the weeks go on. It is unknown if Sterling will go out quietly or if he will make a scene with his departure.
Some players including Steve Nash, current point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, have come out and given their thoughts on the situation.
“This is an astonishing situation obviously,” said Nash. “It begs a bigger question. If racism is a learned behavior, how long will it go on for? How long will people be taught to be bigoted, to discriminate and to instill hatred in our communities? Let's hope this is an opportunity for all of us, the players and the league and the community to help educate and take one step further toward eradicating racism in our communities.”