"This is a painful moment for all members of the NBA family," said NBA commissioner Adam Silver today at the press conference this afternoon to discuss Clippers' owner Donald Sterling's fate, the biggest test for the new commish, just three months on the job.
"The NBA commenced an investigation that among other things included an interview with Mr. Sterling," Silver stated. "The hateful opinions voiced on that recording are Mr. Sterlings. I am personally distraught."
The commissioner apologized for Sterling's comments personally. He went on to state he was banning Sterling for life from all NBA activities. He also went on to announce that Sterling would have no power as an owner in any way and that he was urging the board of owners to force the sale of the team. Silver also fined Sterling the maximum allowed under his power, $2.5 million. The funds will be donated to organizations selected by the NBA that teach racial equality.
Last week TMZ released a recording of Sterling spewing a bevy of inappropriate, racial comments in his home directed at his girlfriend. Since that time, the league -- and the nation, for that matter -- has been in an uproar of disgust.
Sterling, who purchased the team in 1981, has had a history of questionable conduct. In 2009, Sterling agreed to pay $2.73 million to settle a Justice Department lawsuit alleging discrimination against African-American and Latino tenants in his apartment buildings. In an earlier discrimination suit, settled for an undisclosed sum, one of his property managers quoted Sterling as saying black tenants "smell" and "they're not clean."
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