The NBA's commissioner has taken a stern stand against Donald Sterling.
Adam Silver announced at a press conference Tuesday that he is banning the LA Clippers owner from the NBA for life. Sterling cannot attend any games or practices, and he can no longer participate in any business involving the team.
Sterling has also been given a fine of $2.5-million. That may not be much for a man worth $1.9-billion, but it is the maximum fine allowed in the league's constitution.
Silver went further, urging the board of governors to force Sterling to sell his team, something they can do with a three-quarters' vote. The commissioner says he will do everything in his power to make sure that happens.
"I am personally distraught," Silver says of the racist comments made by Sterling in a recording that was released to the public over the weekend.
The commissioner says he hopes the situation will not have a long-term effect on the team and the league.
"My message to the Clippers fans is that this league is bigger than one owner."
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As a rather new commissioner, having started the job in February, the move has made Silver quite popular among both current and former players.
"On this day, Adam Silver is not only the owners' commissioner, he is the players' commissioner and we're proud to call him our commissioner," says Kevin Johnson, Sacramento mayor and former NBA player.
Speaking on behalf of the players' association, Johnson says Silver has done his duty.
"When one rotten apple does something, or if you see cancer, you have to cut it out really quickly," Johnson says.
NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also applauded Silver's announcement.
"I'm just thrilled," he says. "His actions and focus were so on the mark."
Johnson also added a message to everyone listening.
"I hope that every bigot in this country sees what happened to Mr. Sterling, and recognizes that if he can fall, so can you," Johnson says.