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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Other Sport

NBA: Clippers owner banned for life over racist talk
Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times
Washington, April 30, 2014
First Published: 08:41 IST(30/4/2014)
Last Updated: 17:29 IST(30/4/2014)
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling attends the NBA playoff game between the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors. (AFP Photo)

The US basketball league on Tuesday banned a team owner whose racist remarks had set off a national firestorm even as the president weighed in on it from his Asia tour.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life, fining him $2.5 million and said it will force him to sell the team.

All of this within four days of publication of the remarks.

Contrast this to the snail-paced IPL response to allegations of spot fixing involving Chennai Super King officials, which forced the Supreme Court to intervene.

"The views expressed by Mr Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful," said NBA commissioner Adam Silver, "that they came from an NBA owner heightens… my personal outrage."

"Accordingly, effective immediately, I am banning Mr Sterling for life, from any association with the Clippers organisation 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 player personnel decisions involving the team."

Watch video: NBA bans Donald Sterling for life over racist comments

Team owners have been punished before by the league. But this is the first time an owner will be forced to give up his/her team, if the NBA succeeds in pushing it through.

In the audio recording, Sterling is heard telling his then girlfriend not to post pictures of herself with "black" people on Instagram and not to bring them to Clippers' games.

The remarks set off a national outrage after gossip website TMZ posted them last weekend. US President Barack Obama called them "incredibly offensive racist statements".

Basketball great Magic Johnson, who was referenced by Sterling in his racist rant, said in a statement, "He (Sterling) shouldn't own a team anymore."

He probably won't. The franchise, which Sterling bought in 1981 for $12.5 million is now said to be worth $500 million or even a billion.

Sterling, who made his fortune in the real estate business, has a history of discrimination. A former employee accused him of having a "racist attitude" in 2009.

The same year, Sterling settled a housing suit brought against by the justice department accusing him of discriminating against African Americans, Latinos and families with children.

Watch: Clippers coach welcomes life ban on team owner


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