April 29 - The National Basketball Association banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the game for life and fined him $2.5 million for racist comments, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced at a news conference in New York. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The National Basketball Association banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the game for life and fined him $2.5 million for racist comments made public over the weekend, the league's commissioner said on Tuesday. Sterling, the longest-tenured owner of any of the 30 NBA teams, will not be allowed any role in the operations of his team or be able to serve as one of the league's governors, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced at a news conference in New York. "Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life, from any association, with the Clippers organization, or the NBA," Silver told reporters at a news conference in New York City. The controversy began over the weekend when the celebrity website TMZ.com released an audio recording with a voice said to be Sterling's criticizing a friend for associating with "black people." An investigation into the recording concluded the voice was Sterling's Silver told reporters. Sterling's comments caused a wave of outrage from fans, players and coaches of the league, which was on the forefront of racial integration in U.S. professional sports, all the way to Barack Obama, the first black U.S. president, who blasted the "incredibly offensive racist statements." The move may not be enough for some critics, who called on Sterling to give up ownership of the team, though observers said the other 29 owners of NBA franchises were not likely to back any move that could set a precedent that would harm their property rights. Sterling said he would call on the owners to vote to force Sterling to sell the team. Such a move would require approval of three-quarters of the current owners.