UPDATE: 4/29/14 2:30PM EST
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference this afternoon addressing Donald Sterling’s racist remarks.
From the press conference we learned Donald Sterling has been banned from the NBA for life. The NBA is also ‘urging’ a forced sale of the Clippers. Sterling will also be fined $2.5M, the max allowed. The money will go to anti-discriminatory efforts.
Here is the NBA’s official press release:
UPDATE: 4/29/14 1:40PM EST
The NBA has decided to suspend Donald Sterling, indefinitely. TMZ reports:
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has tentatively decided to suspend Clippers owner Donald Sterling INDEFINITELY and impose a multi-million-dollar fine — but Sterling will NOT be forced to sell the team — sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ Sports.
We’re told the suspension does NOT include members of Sterling’s immediate family, but the NBA will have approval rights on who is running the team.
We’re told Commissioner Adam Silver had a forensic expert review the recording and found no evidence it was altered and confirmed Sterling’s voice.
And we’re told … an NBA investigator spoke with Sterling by phone after we posted the recording and the Clippers owner agreed to sit down for a follow-up interview but then changed his mind and backed out.
And we’re Stiviano told NBA reps the same thing we’ve reported … that she had Sterling’s consent before she recorded him.
Dissent and protests continue to grow following the release of Donald Sterling’s racist remarks.
A handful of current and legendary basketball players have come forth to denounce the “plantation mentality” of the LA Clippers owner. Doc Rivers, coach of the basketball team, refuses to speak with Sterling. And the money is slowly drying up — as of Tuesday, major advertisers dropped their sponsorship of the team.
Meanwhile, Sterling’s family is torn about his racist viewpoints. After recordings allegedly captured Sterling telling his girlfriend, Vanessa (V.) Stiviano, not to associate with or bring black people to his games, his estranged wife, Shelly, released a statement denouncing his deplorable behavior. But yesterday, she told TMZ in an exclusive video that he was, in fact, not a racist. His son-in-law, however, has a different viewpoint, telling reporters that he doesn’t care what happens to his father.
Family drama aside, the NBA is expected to fine and suspend Sterling, forcing him to sell the team. An NBA source told Yahoo on Monday that Magic Johnson was interested in purchasing the Clippers. As of yet, there are no concrete plans pending the NBA investigation, but on Tuesday, the association plans to make a statement regarding their findings.
In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about the Sterling Scandal today:
Monday saw a domino effect of sponsors dropping out of their relationship with the LA Clippers. The first to jump ship was State Farm, who released this statement regarding their decision:
“The remarks attributed to the Clippers’ owner are offensive. While those involved sort out the facts, we will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization,” State Farm said in an email statement. “We are monitoring the situation and we’ll continually assess our options.”
A handful soon followed. CarMax released this statement:
“These views directly conflict with CarMax’s culture of respect for all individuals. While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for 9 years and support the team, fans and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship.”
And others announced their terminated sponsorships via Twitter, including Kia, Amtrak and Virgin America. AquaHydrate, Red Bull, Sprint and Yokohama Tire Corporation also pulled their support. After a lengthy evaluation, Corona announced their suspension of sponsorship pending the NBA investigation.
Read more here…[ThinkProgress]
Doc Rivers Releases A Statement:
On Monday evening, Doc Rivers, coach of the LA Clippers, released a statement regarding Sterling’s racist recordings.
“I would like to reiterate how disappointed I am in the comments attributed to [Donald Sterling] and I can’t even begin to tell you how upset I am and our players are,” the coach said in his statement.
“Today, I had a meeting with the members of our organization. When you are around all these people, you realize they are just as upset and embarrassed by the situation and it does not reflect who they really are. That was what I got from all of them,” Doc added. “They are now a part of this and they are upset at this. But, they are all going to hang in there and so are we – I can tell you that as a group and as a team. From our fans’ standpoint, I want to say that they have been amazing, I can tell you that. We need unbelievable support right now from other people and I’m hoping we get that. My hope is that whatever the fans do, it is as one. I think that is what we all should do.”
You can read the rest here…[CBSSports]
V. Stiviano’s Relationship With Sterling:
Despite claiming she and Sterling’s relationship was “strictly business,” court documents show that Stiviano was in a long-standing courtship with the LA Clippers owner.
The documents — filed this month in connection with Shelly’s lawsuit against V. claiming she duped Donald into showering her with more than $2 mil in gifts — say the relationship between V. and Donald was “neither [a] hidden, closeted, nor a clandestine ‘affair’ at any time,” adding it was “open notorious, obvious and long standing.”
For photos of Stiviano in her now infamous visor, see below. You can read more here…[TMZ]
Miami Heat Takes A Stand:
Two days after the LA Clippers quietly protested Sterling’s racist remarks by turning their shirts inside out, their brothers on the East Coast are following suit.
The entire Miami Heat basketball team turned their warm-up gear inside out to show support for the Clippers. You can watch the show of solidarity above.
Sterling’s Son-In-Law Calls Him A Racist:
Eric Miller, Donald Sterling’s son-in-law and the Director of Basketball Administration for the Clippers, had this to say about Sterling’s racist remarks:
“I find the statements and representations made by the Clippers’ team owner to be deplorable and disgusting. There is no room in sports or society in general, for racism. I pledge my full support for the wonderful players, coaches and staff members of the Clippers organization. I have complete faith that Commissioner Silver will deal with this matter swiftly and severely.”
You can read more here…[TMZ]
NBA Authenticates Recordings:
According to TMZ, the NBA has authenticated the alleged audio of Donald Sterling’s racist remarks.
NBA lawyer David Anders and another NBA lawyer went to the law office of Mac Nehoray Monday afternoon. Stiviano was also there for the purpose of authenticating the audio.
We’re told there was NO doubt by anyone the recording is the real deal. The NBA lawyers heard the 15 minutes that have been made public, but not the remaining 45. And we’re told … based on conversations along with analysis … they’re satisfied about authenticity.
The association is set to make a formal announcement today regarding their findings. Read more here…[TMZ]
We’ll keep you updated with the latest.
PHOTO CREDIT: SPLASH