NBA commissioner Silver writes letter to fans after banning Clippers owner
APR 29, 2014 5:26p ET
At a Tuesday press conference, NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the NBA for life after an investigation by the league identified Sterling as the man who made racist comments recorded on audio tapes that surfaced over the weekend.
After the announcement, Silver issued a letter to the league's fans in which he expressed pride in the NBA's "diverse, respectful and inclusive culture" and said "Mr. Sterling's views have no place in the NBA."
The commissioner's message follows in its entirety below:
This afternoon I announced that, following the completion of a thorough investigation into an audio recording obtained by TMZ, I banned Donald Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers or the NBA, effective immediately. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, be present at any Clippers office or facility, or participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team. I also fined Mr. Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA Constitution. These funds will be donated to charitable organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and its Players Association.
The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and hurtful. I am extremely proud of this great league’s diverse, respectful and inclusive culture, and we will not allow one individual’s intolerant views to define us. Let me be clear: Mr. Sterling’s views have no place in the NBA.
This has been a painful episode for all members of the NBA family. I very much appreciate your understanding during this process. I also want to express my thanks and admiration to Coach Doc Rivers, Chris Paul, and the entire Clippers organization for their professionalism throughout this matter, and to Chris and Mayor Kevin Johnson for their leadership and partnership on behalf of the Players Association.
And now I am eager to turn the spotlight back where it belongs: on the game we all love and on these thrilling playoffs, which have been some of the most exciting basketball I’ve seen in my 22 years with the league. I hope you enjoy the rest of the playoffs and The Finals.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.