This past Tuesday, April 29, 2014, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from ever attending another NBA game and fined Sterling the maximum $2.5 million allowed under NBA rules following the revelation last week of Sterling racist outbursts.
Last week, audiotapes were made public of Donald Sterling calling his girlfriend and making overtly racist comments to her. The public revelation has caused a storm in the world of sports and has largely overshadowed the NBA playoffs. In a special meeting of the NBA owners called this Tuesday, Commissioner Adam Silver ordered that Sterling pay a $2.5 million fine, banned Sterling from the NBA and promised to do everything possible to force a sale of the LA Clippers.
The demise of Sterling has caused headaches for the owners of other NBA teams who must now approve the forced sale, which Sterling indicated that he might contest. The prospect of a drawn-out case can be further complicated by the possibility that Sterling will file for divorce from his wife which would place the NBA team under the jurisdiction of a California Family Court. The court will be charged with dividing the team up between Sterling and his wife under the California community property law. Independent attorneys with knowledge of Sterling’s history say that he has deep pockets and an appetite for lengthy legal battles.
A further issue is Sterling well-publicized support for the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP. The NAACP had recently honored Sterling as a great contributor to the causes of minorities, which obviously flies in the face of the statements made by Sterling to his girlfriend.
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