The NBA’s commissioner came down hard Tuesday on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, ordering him out of his team’s business and pushing to force him to sell over racist remarks that caused a firestorm since becoming public days ago.
Adam Silver detailed Sterling’s punishment of a lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine — the “maximum amount” allowed per league guidelines — at a press conference eight hours before Sterling’s Clippers were to tip off in the fifth game of a tightly contested first-round playoff series with the Golden State Warriors.
Silver’s decision was met with immediate support from NBA owners, players and others connected to the league who have been calling for swift, firm punishment ever since TMZ posted audio featuring the incendiary comments.
“I hope that every bigot in this country sees what happened to Mr. Sterling and recognizes that if he can fall, so can you,” Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA All-Star who was tasked with leading the NBA players union’s efforts on this matter.
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