NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday that in lieu of forcing Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell his team, Sterling will be suspended indefinitely and will be fined $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed by the league constitution.
Sterling will be banned from all NBA events and Clippers facilities. The fine will be donated to anti-discrimination groups determined by the NBA and the players association.
Silver said that he will strongly “urge” the NBA Board of Governors to force Sterling to sell the team. A three-fourths majority of owners would need to be reached to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.
When asked about whether this could create a “slippery slope” against freedom of speech, Silver responded, “Whether or not these remarks were shared in private, they’re now public and they represent his views.”
TMZ first broke the story about 20 minutes before the official press conference. The NBA holds approval rights on who runs the team and will not be punishing any of Sterling’s family.
The league has been wrestling with how to punish Sterling following the weekend release of audio showing that he demanded that his girlfriend not bring black people to Clippers games.
The NBA’s investigators determined that the tape had not been altered, and it was Sterling.
His girlfriend V. Stiviano holds that she had his express consent to record him.