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NBA Commissioner Bans Clippers Owner Over Racist Comments

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TWC News: NBA Commissioner Bans Clippers Owner Over Racist Comments
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National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday addressed a sea of reporters in Midtown, where he formally banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling "for life" over racist comments made in a recorded conversation.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the ban comes after Sterling himself acknowledged it was his voice on the recording speaking to his girlfriend.

Sterling is also being fined $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under NBA rules.

Silver said the fine will be donated to "organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts."

In addition, the commissioner said he's urging the league's Board of Governors to force a sale of the team.

"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," Silver said. "We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling's views. They simply have no place in the NBA."

Several companies, including Mercedes-Benz, Virgin America Airlines, and Carmax, pulled their sponsorships of the Clippers over the controversy.

The NAACP also said it will no longer honor Sterling with a lifetime achievement award next month.

Sterling's ban from the league and the Clippers goes into effect immediately.

While Sterling has yet to comment, the Clippers released a statement, which said, "We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver today. Now the healing process begins."

The team also replaced the home page of its website with a black-and-white graphic that reads, "We are one."

New York basketball fans NY1 talked with said they're glad to see the new commissioner come down hard on Sterling.

"Yeah, he did the same thing a couple years ago. No one responded to that," said one fan. "So I'm glad that the team walked away from that, and I think it was justified."

"What he said was terrible and shouldn't really be in the NBA," said another.

"I know a lot of people had issues with, 'Oh, well, he's around blacks, he hires blacks,' but slave owners had their way with slaves and even liked some of them, I'm sure, but that doesn't make them good people," said a third.

Several NBA players past and present also praised Sterling's punishment.

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