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NBA Begins Process Today to Oust Donald Sterling as Clippers Owner

According to the league, the NBA "initiated a charge" that alleges Sterling "engaged in conduct that has damaged and continues to damage the NBA and its teams."

Patch file graphic.
Patch file graphic.

The NBA today formally began its effort to oust Donald Sterling as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, accusing him of harming the league through racist comments that were caught on tape.

According to the league, the NBA "initiated a charge" that alleges Sterling "engaged in conduct that has damaged and continues to damage the NBA and its teams."

Sterling has until May 27 to respond to the charge. The NBA's Board of Governors plans to discuss the issue during a June 3 meeting.

If three-quarters of the league's team owners sustain the charge, Sterling will lose ownership of the team, which will be sold.

Sterling, however, has indicated that he plans to fight to maintain ownership of the team. He has also balked at paying a $2.5 million fine announced by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. A letter sent to the league by Sterling attorney Maxwell Blecher -- and obtained by Sports Illustrated and ESPN -- threatened legal action against the NBA and insisted that Sterling did not violate the league's constitution.

Blecher also contended that the 80-year-old real estate investor was denied due process when Silver banned him from the league for life and ordered him to pay the $2.5 million fine

Sterling came under fire when recordings of his comments were made public on a pair of websites. On the recordings, Sterling chastised frequent courtside companion V. Stiviano for appearing in photographs with black people - - including Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson -- and bringing them to Clippers games.

Sterling subsequently told CNN's Anderson Cooper in a televised interview that he was not a racist and that he had been "baited" into making the comments. He also told Cooper that Johnson was a poor role model because he was promiscuous, had contracted the virus that causes AIDS and has not, in Sterling's opinion, done much for black people.

Sterling bought the Clippers in 1981 for $12.5 million, but the team recently was valued by Forbes around $575 million, making it the league's 13th most valuable.

The NBA alleged in today's statement that Sterling's "actions and positions significantly undermine the NBA's efforts to promote diversity and inclusion; damage the NBA's relationship with its fans; harm NBA owners, players and Clippers team personnel; and impair the NBA's relationship with marketing and merchandising parnters, as well as with government and community leaders."

The league also accused Sterling of issuing a "false and misleading press statement about this matter."

--City News Service


Jonathan Kaufman May 20, 2014 at 07:43 PM
Mr. Silver seems homosexual to me, which might be why he is so hard on Sterling who has remained offended by Magic Johnson's previously immoral lifestyle, evidenced by Magic's contracting of the HIV virus. Let us get the specks out of our own eyes? Sterling should be out, it is true, as we cannot tolerate a public figure using a broad brush upon all black people because of the misconduct of one, though we should not minimize the effect of one formerly bad apple on the perception of those who are outsiders, and we should not act so shocked that there is a negative impact. Let it serve as a warning to the young to avoid immorality, and let Sterling's fall serve as a warning to hypocrites who judge others while doing the same thing.
Ravina Manya Prasad Sharma May 20, 2014 at 08:24 PM
Ok ...something is not clear here.... so what happens to the idiot who also said a "N" work remark to Mr.President ... and this lousy clippers owner gets what
George May 20, 2014 at 09:42 PM
Nothing happened to the official who called Obama a nigger. He did not even apologize. Now compare that to a basketball owner who in a private conversation, secretly recorded mind you, with his lady love who is half black for her not to bring black people to his games. Sterling never called black people niggers in the recording.
mimi May 21, 2014 at 02:02 PM
Sterling has a documented history of discrimination against minority groups. The phone conversation tape is not the reason he is being ousted. It was the red flag. It was followed up by intelligent research into his past PUBLIC behavior and business practices, all of which revealed bigotry and racism. He has the dubious distinction of holding the record for the greatest number of fair housing violations, as well as the largest monetary fine enforced by the California legal system. The point is Sterling's actions make him a criminal. His conversations make him a racist. Any other conclusion is mindless spin.

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