NBA Commissioner Fines Racist L.A. Clippers Owner Donald Sterling $2.5 Million, Bans Him for Life


NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has banned L.A. Clippers owner from any NBA activities for life and has fined him $2.5 million. Silver made the announcement in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

SterlingSaid Silver: “Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA,” Silver said. “Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility. He may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions. … He will also be barred from attending Board of Governors meetings.”

Silver also said he would push Sterling to sell the Clippers.

Sterling came under fire over the weekend after a recording surfaced of him telling his girlfriend V. Stiviano not to associate with black people or bring them to his games.

The Clippers released this statement on the team website:


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  1. Justice has been served.

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 29, 2014 2:27:35 PM

  2. Damn.

    Posted by: Mikey | Apr 29, 2014 2:28:18 PM

  3. Whoa! This is big. Cue the haters!

    Posted by: John P. | Apr 29, 2014 2:37:52 PM

  4. how are they gonna get him to pay if he's banned for life

    Posted by: luke | Apr 29, 2014 2:42:24 PM

  5. O and O again for Ouch. A public figure with a big mouth is a public figure with fewer figures to count.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Apr 29, 2014 2:46:03 PM

  6. How can they ban him from attending games?

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Apr 29, 2014 2:47:27 PM



    Posted by: Derrick | Apr 29, 2014 2:51:34 PM

  8. I'd hate to be a downer, but how has justice been served when he has the possibility of selling the Clippers for - at the very least - $750 million? He is also a real estate mogul, so his interests don't lie solely with the NBA.

    Two and a half million is a pittance to people like this. He's 80, and he'll be laughing all the way home, where he'll watch the games on his 300-inch TV.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Apr 29, 2014 2:55:55 PM

  9. Yes, it was free speech. To those who will undoubtedly complain that his rights were violated, they weren't. He wasn't arrested for speaking his mind - that's the protection of free speech. He continues to be free to express his bigotry.

    Fortunately free speech is not without consequences! Kudos for the NBA taking swift, bold, and appropriate action.

    Posted by: Mitch | Apr 29, 2014 2:56:31 PM

  10. Interesting question by @LUKE. Can Sterling simply shut down the team in retaliation?

    Posted by: Perry | Apr 29, 2014 2:57:37 PM

  11. The first amendment guarantees my right to say anything short of "fire" in a crowded theater. It says nothing about other people having to listen to my stupid ass ravings, or having to associate themselves with me.

    Posted by: melvin | Apr 29, 2014 3:01:24 PM

  12. Next step, get rid of any homophobic sport team owners. This sets the precedent for future action.

    Posted by: Kieran | Apr 29, 2014 3:05:52 PM

  13. So what exactly is the point of "fining" him if you're going to ban him from the league?

    That's like giving someone the death penalty and a fine on top of it.

    Posted by: TKinSC | Apr 29, 2014 3:18:48 PM

  14. Well, i suppose Andrew Sullivan will defend this man's bigotry because he didn't discriminate his black employees

    Posted by: jjose712 | Apr 29, 2014 3:35:05 PM

  15. LOL @ "That's like giving someone the death penalty and a fine on top of it."

    You're absolutely right, TKINSC. Make them suffer financially after they're dead. But there still may be the chance of getting Disabilty payments...maybe short term.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 29, 2014 3:38:00 PM

  16. It is legal to be a bigot but it is not smart.

    Posted by: TheSeer | Apr 29, 2014 3:40:13 PM

  17. If only the UN was like the NBA...the world would be a better place.

    Posted by: Myackie | Apr 29, 2014 3:51:11 PM

  18. The other NBA owners have to be *terrified* over this sort of thing. I mean, hell, I know the sorts of things I've done on video or said in a text. YIKES.

    Posted by: Robert | Apr 29, 2014 3:54:57 PM

  19. Andrew Sullivan has written a response claiming that this was right because Sterling is a true bigot but Eich wasn't because even though Ecih contributed to Prop 8 we couldn't see into his heart to see why he did.

    Posted by: m.r. | Apr 29, 2014 3:56:04 PM

  20. If what I heard about him being secretly recorded, I'm not sure if the NBA has any grounds to enforce either penalty. If this was a private conversation and he wasn't aware he was being recorded, the tape wouldn't be allowed in any legal case. So if he were to challenge the NBA, he could probably easily get out of paying the $2.5 million fine, although I think the NBA still can arbitrarily ban anyone without really giving any reason, let alone a good one.

    I'm not defending this guy, but trying to have the right thing done using unscrupulous means doesn't make what you're doing "right." Using despicable methods to punish despicable people makes you just as despicable and you should face the same punishment you brought onto the other person.

    Posted by: Garst | Apr 29, 2014 4:35:59 PM

  21. Why is anyone listening to AS on this? He's never consistent in anything except in saying that he's never wrong.

    This is an interesting announcement, but probably not legally enforceable for the most part. Owners have so many rights that essentially he could sue for a lot of damages and tie the league up in knots. I'm not even sure they could ban the Clippers from playing, which would have been the most straightforward penalty. Sterling's going to sue or come to some settlement and perhaps it will be hush-hush but probably little of this will stand up in court. The NBA is a group of owners that agree to certain things as a group, and probably one of the things they agree on is to not devalue each others franchises.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 29, 2014 4:54:02 PM

  22. His wife seems to be OK with the fact that he is openly keeping a mistress. NOM seems to have nothing to say about the "sanctity of marriage" in this case.

    Posted by: simon | Apr 29, 2014 5:39:28 PM

  23. I'm sure the players have never said anything racist or homophobic in their lives before.

    And no one has a problem with people illegally recording one another.


    Posted by: Andy | Apr 29, 2014 6:10:47 PM

  24. @ "I'm sure the players have never said anything racist or homophobic in their lives before."

    Well, the players don't want to run plantaions, darling.

    And I really don't care about this news story al ALL. LOL


    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 29, 2014 6:19:18 PM

  25. @andy - there's one sure way not to get caught and avoid suffering the consequences: don't say it. he signed a contract with the nba and agreed to abide by their decisions.

    andrew sullivan is misguided if he believes the eich and sterling controversies as unrelated.

    Posted by: northalabama | Apr 29, 2014 6:23:13 PM

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