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Donald Sterling Receives Lifetime Ban From NBA

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Commissioner Adam Silver announced the punishment at a press conference in NYC today.

Donald Sterling Receives Lifetime Ban From NBA

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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA today for racist comments that the league confirmed he made. Commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference at 2:15 this afternoon outlining the findings of an investigation into the authenticity of the tapes where Sterling allegedly made highly racist comments to his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, about African-Americans. Silver confirmed that an interview was conducted with Sterling, that he was the person on the tapes, and that those were indeed his beliefs. With that in mind, Silver concluded that the only appropriate action was a lifetime ban from the NBA.

Sterling still owns the team, but the ban bars him from attending Clippers games and practices, being inside Clippers facilities, conducting any bustiness related to the Clippers (personnel decisions, etc.) and cannot participate in league business with the Board of Governors. Silver made a point to mention that he will strongly urge Sterling to sell the team and will also urge the current Board of Governors to hold a vote on Sterling's ownership status.

Silver also fined Sterling the maximum $2.5 million that is allowed in the NBA constitution, and that money will go towards tolerance groups and efforts to be chosen at a later date.

Reaction to the decision seems positive all around from players and league members alike. At a separate press conference held afterward, NBAPA Vice President Roger Mason Jr. told media that players were ready to boycott games if action wasn't taken today. Mason still stressed that a timetable for further league action by the current owners needs to be worked on and presented immediately.

Ultimately, I'm in favor of the move, but I am surprised at how quickly and how strong the league came down on Sterling. Something had to be done, but the league certainly seemed to do a lot of legwork in their investigation. Based on his tenor during the press conference, Silver seems motivated to make change quickly, which sends the right kind of message to the rest of the league and the fans. The situation couldn't be left to hang over the team and the rest of the league, and Silver definitely made the right call. Someone with views like Sterling's does not deserve the position he has, and Silver has taken great first steps to ensure he doesn't own the team for much longer.

What do you think of the NBA's decision to give Donald Sterling a lifetime ban? Let us know in the comments section.

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