NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life from the NBA and fined him $ 2.5 million for his widely publicized racist rants that were recorded by his girlfriend V. Stiviano and later released on TMZ.
Sterling has still not issued a formal apology and reportedly told Fox News contributor Jim Gray that the L.A. Clippers are not for sale.
Despite his determination to not sell the Clippers, Sterling, a former attorney, may have run out of options in his legal court since the NBA board of governors have the option to force a sale of a professional NBA team if three fourths of the 30 NBA owners vote to sell the team if the owner acts in a manner “in such a way as to affect the NBA or its owners adversely” according to the bylaw.
Commissioner Silver made it clear on Tuesday that he will use his leverage as commissioner to have the Clippers sold to another owner.
“As for Mr. Sterling’s ownership interest in the Clippers, I will urge the board of governors to force a sale of the team and will do everything in my power to ensure that happens” Commissioner Silver said at the press conference.
Commissioner Silver reported in the question and answer session that he hasn’t taken an official poll but he spoke to several NBA owners and has their full support.
Sterling’s racist rants about African Americans caused public outrage, resulting in several corporate sponsors from Virgin America to Kia Motors pulling away from the L.A. Clippers organization.
Sterling’s inflammatory comments as a public figure and professional sports owner are out of character in the NBA, an organization that is well known for embracing equality and inclusivity.
“The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful; that they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage” Commissioner Silver said.
The $2.5 million dollar fine that billionaire Donald Sterling will pay for his racist rants is just a drop in the bucket of his total net worth.
According to Forbes, Sterling’s net worth is $1.9 billion.
Sterling purchased the LA Clippers in 1981 for only $12 million.
Forbes currently estimates the Clippers worth at $575 million.
Another NBA franchise, the Milwaukee Bucks, was recently sold this month to hedge-fund billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry for $ 550 million.
The Sacramento Kings were sold in 2013 for $535 million to majority owner Vivek Ranadive, founder of the multi-billion dollar company TIBCO Software.