Posted: Apr 29, 2014 1:25 PM
Updated: Apr 29, 2014 3:38 PM
Source: Associated Press
NEW YORK - The owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, has been banned for life by the NBA -- which is now going to try to force him to sell the team.
Sterling has also been fined $2.5 million.
It's part of the fallout from racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says Sterling admits that it's his voice on the tape.
Silver says he expects to get the support he needs from other NBA owners in order to remove Sterling from his ownership position. Many owners and NBA players posted their support for the decision on social media, including New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson.
"In light of the serious matter facing our league, a matter that transcends sports, the New Orleans Pelicans fully support the decisions made today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and will fully support his recommendations moving forward," Benson's statement said.
The penalty is the harshest one ever issued by the league -- and one of the stiffest punishments ever given to an owner in professional sports.
Sterling is immediately banned from attending any NBA games or practices. He can't be present at any Clippers office or facility, and he can't take part in any business or player personnel decisions.
It's not clear how he will respond.
Sterling's comments were released over the weekend by TMZ and Deadspin. A number of NBA owners and players have condemned the remarks.