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Sunday, October 23, 2016

By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — City leaders and current and former NBA players on Tuesday hailed the basketball league’s decision to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fine him $2.5 million for racial comments caught on tape and made public late last week.

“Today, we feel like justice has begun to be served,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who had publicly supported a change in ownership. Standing on the steps of City Hall, Garcetti thanked NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for “bringing down the hammer” on Sterling.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player and representative of the National Basketball Players Association, also praised the action, saying it delivered “a statement about where we are as a country.”

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional basketball player, or a man or a woman who works hard for your family, there will be zero tolerance for institutional racism, no matter how rich or powerful” someone is, he said.

The celebrity website TMZ posted an audio recording Friday that purports to capture Sterling telling a woman identified as V. Stiviano that “it bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people.” The man and woman on the recording argue about a photo posted on Instagram showing her with Magic Johnson.

At a news conference, Silver told reporters that Sterling had acknowledged it was him in the recording. The commissioner said he reached his decision on the lifetime ban and other measures Tuesday morning, the day after the NBA’s investigation had been completed.

In addition to the fine and lifetime ban, Silver also said he would pursue a forced sale of the Clippers — an action that would require backing from three-fourths of NBA ownership groups.

“I fully expect to get the support I need” to force a sale, he said.

Outside City Hall, Johnson and other current and former players, including Los Angeles Lakers star Steve Nash, said they were pleased with the punishment and looked forward to the NBA following through with the measures.

“If you see cancer, you’ve got to cut it out real quickly,” Johnson said. “And Commissioner Silver did that in real time.”

It was unclear how Silver’s announcement would affect a planned anti-racism demonstration outside Staples Center before Tuesday evening’s Clippers game, but Garcetti that the NBA executive’s action was something the entire city could rally around.

“We may be a two-team town, but today, we are behind one team,” he said.

Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/MCT

  • geoelb

    Sadly, Its all his girlfriends fault. Certainly, he won’t allow himself to be blamed for his own actions.

    • Paul Bass

      I know you are being sarcastic, but the gossip site that first published the audio, said they DID NOT get it from the girlfriend. (they don’t say how they got it though!)

  • charles king

    Critical Thinking and our Democracy and the People are suppose to be running our country Not group of Plutocracts (Commissiors), God will take care of Mr. Sterling, the good that People does , live after them, the Evil is interior into their bones. Where? has our Democracy gone, What? about our Unions, and our J A Z Z, all the things that represent FREEDOM. Critical think, People, What? the hell is going on in America. Who? the hell are these Commissiors that are calling the shots in America, Why? and HOW? did they become the speakers of your(the Peoples’ Democracy) I am (85yrs), a Korean War Vet from Pennsylvania Which? is a Republic, and I always thought we were a Democracy I am angry at myself for being fool all these years. What? do you do about this misguide in justice, wake up people cause your Democracy is being destroyed by MONIES, next they will try and get rid of your VOTE. Plutocracy is running rampant all over America, especially in smalltown USA. Wake-up People> Thank You are the magic words in my book. I Love Ya All. Mr. C. E. KING

    • Paul Bass

      Charles, I love you! Sometimes your writing syntax and structure is a bit confusing, but I get what you are saying, and support wholeheartedly! You keep it up.

      • charles king

        Thank You Sir: I believe Democracy can solve the problems of America with the vote and Critical Thinking, MONIES (Don’t Mean a thing)

  • nana4gj

    Living in a Democracy does not mean we can behave as wild animals in a jungle, with the strongest, loudest, and richest among us free to prey on others.

    We may have the Right to Free Speech in public and in private, but, if we are an employee of an institution or a member of an institution, we represent that employer and institution and must abide by the Code of Conduct, the Mission Statement, and other requirements, and, when we do not, we are “let go”, whether that private behavior has become public or whether the behavior was public to start with.
    The NBA decided long ago that it was good business to recruit players regardless of skin color or even country of origin. A good business decision evolved into the embrace of those players because of their inherent worth as human beings, as well as their skills and talents as a basketball player and all the rest of us have come to have our favorite players who are often part of our family mien.

    It doesn’t matter how these utterances of Sterling became public. While the NBA cannot censure an owner because of his shoddy practices as a landlord or his disgusting behaviors as a husband, when he makes statements that are inconsistent with the mission statement or code of conduct or that reflect poorly on the NBA, per se, they can take action.

    If any of us engage in behaviors, while using our Constitutional Rights to do so, that are inconsistent with the codes, mission, and image of our employers or other institutions with which we affiliate, we are subject to consequences, even if done so in our private lives and it has become public, because we represent those institutions and our employer.

    Sterling can be as crass and crude as he wants to be as an individual and can believe and say whatever he chooses but, as an owner in the NBA, when he engages in the exercise of his Right to Free Speech or in employment practices that are offensive, crude, or even a violation of a law, he must accept the consequences. If he wants to be a racist and to demean a race or a class of people, he can do so on his own time, but, not as an NBA owner because the NBA does not discriminate or engage in racism with it’s fans and it’s players and employees.

  • FT66

    Oh! boy, this is the topic I feel very uncomfortable to write about it. Is anyone sitting on his sofa or relaxing on his balcony thinking about “racism” while the person who is leading the country is black at the moment sitting in the Oval Office? During inaguration of Pres. Oama in 2009, I told my friend that this moment won’t be forgetabble and some will learn a lot about it. I do think I was quite wrong. One question which I have to those who are bigotry is: “Is your colour which you hold makes you more important than the others who have different colours”.? What is important in your colour which makes you feel superiour? Is it not your way of thinking which drives you that way? Suppose I have to tell you that I like more the black colour than that one you have, are you going to hate me as well because I do not like your colour? And it is the truth, I am not fond of your colour of your skin. Please explain to me what makes your colour of your skin more important than the others? Please send your reply by listing them down!.

  • Hugh Jass

    Hussein Obama’s delusions are a menace to mankind.

    • Paul Bass

      Hey Hugh,
      This derogatory un-cited statement has NOTHING to do with the NBA or Donald Sterling! Please peddle YOUR delusions elsewhere.