NBA commissioner Adam Silver starts his press conference with the Donald Sterling audiotape proving that the voices are of Clippers owner Donald Sterling and has been verified by Silver himself.
“Principles of inclusion and respect are violated with Mr. Sterling’s words and I am personally outraged. I am banning Donald Sterling for life. Mr. Sterling may not attend, be present in any NBA business or personal decisions with the Los Angeles Clippers. I am fining Mr. Donald Sterling $2.5 million, maximum amount under the NBA constitution, and not allowing him to visit any NBA facility again. I will urge the Board of Owners to push Sterling to sell the team and I will push to make sure this happens. These words hurt the NBA family and I am gratefully appreciative of mayor Kevin Johnson, Players Union leader Chris Paul, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, and all the players involved. These words have no place in the NBA. Whether or not these words were private, they have become public and these words represent his views. We did not investigate any of Sterling’s past history during this investigation. I am personally distraught and outraged. I fully expect and urge the cooperation of the other NBA team owners to have Donald Sterling removed as owner.”
Three quarters vote between the owners will have Donald Sterling removed as Los Angeles Clippers owner. Silver‘s urging of the Board of Directors to have Sterling removed as an NBA owner shows the magnitude of this situation. Sterling has been banned for life and will be unable to attend any NBA event.
Reactions to Adam Silver’s Lifetime Ban and $2.5 million fine
Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, CA, was the first to publicly address a crowd after commissioner Silver‘s press conference.
This is about Los Angeles, a city of tolerance, cultural diversity, civil rights, and of course basketball excellence. I am grateful to Adam Silver for “bringing down the hammer” on Donald Sterling. This city is represented by two NBA teams, but we are one (today).
Kevin Johnson, mayor of Sacramento, CA, former player who has his number retired by the Phoenix Suns, who was very much involved in the investigation:
Today’s ruling was bigger than basketball. Everyone is united today, and today is the defining moment in our history. Sports have played a role in advancing civil rights and liberties. Sports once again transcends sports; I am so proud of all these players, without fear of being persecuted and being honest in this situation, for setting an example for our younger players. I am humbled and honored.
Mayor Johnson has three main points on behalf of the players:
1. We need immediate action.
2. We need the players collective voice to be heard
3. We want maximum allowable punishment to Donald Sterling
Current NBA on TNT analyst and long-time center Shaquille O’Neal on the commissioner’s ruling:
Way to go, Commissioner Silver! The NBA stands for everybody!
Roger Mason, First VP, NBA Player Association, on commissioner Adam Silver‘s ruling:
This is about right and wrong, not about black and white. We want a vote done (to eradicate Sterling) immediately, ASAP.
Los Angeles Lakers PG Steve Nash, representing current players:
I want to thank both mayors, the Players Union, and commissioner Adam Silver on their swift movement during this process. Let’s hope this is an opportunity for all of us to educate about and eradicate racism. Hopefully we can see out commissioner Adam Silver’s ruling.
Los Angeles Lakers Hall of Fame player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar representing former players (in Los Angeles):
You all should have seen us positively reacting to commissioner Adam Silver’s comments. I am thrilled with the outcome, the players I have spoken to are happy with this outcome and we are looking to make the world a better place.
Importance of Adam Silver’s Ruling
Adam Silver‘s strong tone when giving Donald Sterling his lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine was clear. This decision has gained him the respect he deserves as NBA Commissioner and the NBA Playoffs can now resume without any “I wish the commissioner did more” sentiment. The players hopefully can take deep breaths of relief and play phenomenal playoff basketball!
Personally, Adam Silver has gained 100% of my respect after showing his true feelings of outrage. Here is the full transcript per the Washington Post and here is the official letter to the fans via NBA on TNT’s twitter.