NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced at a New York press conference that LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, 80, is banned for life, fined for $2.5 million and possibly the forced sale of his team over racist comments he made to an ex-girlfriend that surfaced on a tape recording.
The money from the $2.5 million fine — the maximum amount allowed by league rules — will be donated to anti-discrimination groups, Silver said.
“The hateful opinions voiced by that man are those of Mr. Sterling. 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,” Silver said. “I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers association or the NBA. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, he may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business or decisions involving the team.”
Silver said NBA investigators determined that the voice heard on the audio tape obtained by TMZ was Sterling’s and called the comments “deeply offensive” and that he will do “do everything in my power” to force a sale of the team, estimated worth at $500 million.
Sterling has owned the team since 1981.
Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, tweeted, “I agree 100% with Commissioner Silvers findings and the actions taken against Donald Sterling.”
With that said, Sterling’s ex-galpal V. Stiviano, the one who blew the whistle on his racist views, may end up taking an even bigger hit. Philip Segal, CEO of Charles Griffin Intelligence, LLC, says in his blog post that “V. Stiviano may owe him $7.5 million in damages when this is all over.”
Why, might you ask? Well, California is what’s called a “two-party” state. Meaning that both parties must be aware of any sort of recording taking place.