Donald Sterling Banned From NBA for Life, Fined 2.5M

(NECN) - NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from association with the team and the league for life.

The decision comes in the wake of racist comments that the league has determined Sterling made.

"Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA," said Silver. "Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business or player-personnel decisions involving the team. He will also be barred from attending NBA Board of Governors meetings or participating in any other league activity."

Silver said he would urge the NBA's Board of Governors to exercise its power to force the sale of the team.

"[I] will do everything in my power to ensure that that happens," said Silver. "This has been a painful moment for all members of the NBA family."

Recordings were released Saturday and Sunday of a man said to be Sterling making racist remarks. Silver said that the voice on that recording was, indeed, that of the Clippers owner.

"The central findings of the investigation are that the man whose voice was heard on the recording, and on a second recording from the same conversation that was released on Sunday, is Mr. Sterling, and that the hateful opinions voiced by that man are those of Mr. Sterling," said Silver. "Mr. Sterling acknowledged it was his voice on the tape, and he has not expressed to me, directly, any other views."

Silver made it clear that the remarks Sterling made had no place in today's NBA.

"The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful," said Silver. "That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage."

In addition to the ban, Sterling has been fined $2.5 million, the maximum amount that the league constitution allows, according to Silver.

"These funds will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and its Players' Association," said Silver.

The Clippers had already lost several major sponsors since the recordings were released on TMZ and Deadspin.

Players, owners and other celebrities have denounced the remarks. President Obama even responded from Malaysia.

1981 Finals MVP Cedric Maxwell, whose number is retired by the Boston Celtics, told NECN that Silver's ruling was a "home run."

"This is groundbreaking," said Maxwell. "Couldn't have been more happy with the decision to ban him for life. To urge owners to make him sell? Resounding yes again."

Miami Heat star LeBron James reacted to Silver's decision, tweeting, "Commissioner Silver thank you for protecting our beautiful and powerful league!! Great leader!! #BiggerThanBasketball #StriveForGreatness."

NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, who was mentioned by name in the recording, sent a series of tweets expressing his support for Silver.

"Commissioner Silver showed great leadership in banning LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life," he said in one message.

Sterling has faced serious criticism and charges in the past, regarding discrimination and sexual harassment.

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