Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned from the NBA for life in the wake of racist remarks he made that were caught on tape. The league is also imposing a $2.5 million dollar fine on Sterling, 81, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced at a press conference Tuesday.
"I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA," Silver said Tuesday. "Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility."
Over the weekend, a tape surfaced on which a man alleged to be Sterling can be heard telling his girlfriend he disapproved of her "associating with" black people and warning her not to bring black people to his NBA games. The exchange was allegedly prompted by Sterling's girlfriend posting a picture on Instagram of herself with Magic Johnson.
Silver said Tuesday that the NBA had the recording reviewed by a forensic expert, who determined that it was indeed Sterling's voice on the tape. He added that Sterling had acknowledged that it was his voice on the tape. Silver called the remarks "deeply offensive and harmful." "That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage," he said.
The $2.5 million fine is the maximum amount allowed by the league. Silver said the money will be donated to "organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts." Silver also said he would "do everything in my power" to force a sale of the team. A 75 percent vote from team owners is needed to oust Sterling.
"This has been a painful moment for all members of the NBA family," Silver said. "We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling's views."