By Robert A. Vella
NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced today the punishment the professional basketball league is imposing upon Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his egregiously racist remarks which became public over the weekend.
Silver said the league’s investigation into the matter concluded that the publicly released audio recordings were in fact the comments of Mr. Sterling.
Silver also said he is banning Mr. Sterling from the NBA for the remainder of his life. Sterling will not be allowed to participate in any activities related to the league or his team, and he has been kicked-off the NBA’s Board of Governors. Furthermore, Silver is urging the other owners to force a sale of the Los Angeles Clippers allowable under league rules but which requires a three-quarters vote of its members. Sterling is also being fined a maximum penalty of $2.5 million which represents slightly more than a tenth of a percent of his estimated $1.9 billion net worth.
Prominent NBA players such as Kevin Johnson – who is the mayor of Sacramento, California – are applauding the action taken by Commissioner Silver. However, the national outrage sparked by this incident will not be assuaged unless the league’s owners force Mr. Sterling to sell his team.