WBEN NewsRadio 930>Audio & Video on Demand>>NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Suspends Donald Sterling

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Suspends Donald Sterling

Apr 29, 2014|

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver bans Clippers Owner Donald Sterling for life for racist comments.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Shortly after the release. Of -- audio audio recording this past Saturday morning. Of a conversation that it allegedly included. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The NBA commenced an investigation. Which among other things included an interview of mr. sterling. That investigation. Is now complete. The central findings of the investigation. Are that the man whose voice is heard on the recording. And on a second recording from the same -- from the same conversation. That was released on Sunday. Is mr. sterling. And that the hateful opinions. Voiced by that man are those of mr. sterling. The views expressed by mr. sterling are deeply. Offensive. And harmful. That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage. And my personal outrage. Sets that sentiment of this kind. Are contrary to the principles of inclusion. And respect. That form the foundation of our diverse. Multicultural. And multi ethnic week. I am personally distraught. That the views expressed by mr. sterling. Came from within. An institution medicine that has historically taken. Such a leadership role in matters of race relations. And -- current and former players. Coaches. Fans and partners of the NBA. The question they're very association. With Italy. To them. And pioneers of the game. Like Earl Lloyd. Chuck Cooper. Sweetwater Clifton. The great Bill Russell. And particularly. Magic Johnson. I apologize. Accordingly. Effective immediately. I am banning mr. sterling. For life from any association. With the clippers organization. Or the NBA. Mr. sterling may not attend. Any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any clippers facility. And he may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team. He will also be barred from attending NBA board of governors meetings. Or participating. In any other league activity. I'm also finding mr. sterling. 2.5 million dollars. The maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution. These funds will be donated to organizations. -- dedicated to anti discrimination and tolerance efforts. That will be jointly selected. By the NBA. And its players association. As for mr. sterling to ownership interest in the clippers'. I will urge the board of governors. To exercise its authority. To force a sale of the team. And we'll do everything in my power. To ensure that that happens. This is -- painful moment. For all members of the NBA family. I appreciate the support and understanding. Of our players during this process. And I -- particularly grateful. For the leadership shown. Like coach Doc Rivers. Union president Chris Paul. And mayor -- Kevin Johnson of Sacramento. Who has been acting as the players represented it in this matter. We stand together. In condemning. Mr. sterling views. They simply have no place. In the NBA. Thank you and I'll take any questions. Take questions now. Start with Scott in the back right. Adam Scott's -- Bloomberg -- or any of your emissaries had any clue as to whether mr. sterling. We'll acquiesced here which is to sell the team or do you expect to fight. I have no idea. Take the next question right here Rachel. From pulling the owners that is spoken to what support do you think you have to force mr. sterling to sell the team. I didn't -- all the owners. I spoke to several owners. And I have their full support. On the right Brian. At a -- Associated Press what kind of authority do they have to force itself. The owners have the authority subject to three quarters vote. Of the ownership groups of the partners. To remove him as -- -- Fifth from the -- I am Lisa Guerrero with inside edition the words used specifically was outraged you said that you were personally outraged yet many people believe. That they are outraged that for years people have known that this man is a recess to slum lord and the NBA hasn't done anything until today. Can you so easy answer why. I can't speak to past actions other than to say that when specific evidence was brought to the NBA. We acted. Over -- second row on the left. Champion with boxing for Cali. I should come only thirteen for remarks shared and price that is this this slippery slope. Whether or not these remarks were initially shared in private they are now public. And they represented his views. If throw on the medal to him. -- microphone their -- -- about his New York Post that Adam. What was that the process to succumbing to this decision nor the last couple days and when did you decide that. This was the appropriate action today. I ultimately decided this morning that this was appropriate action and the process beginning. Saturday morning when this first -- when this tape was first released released was. To a point -- an investigator it was David Enders from the Wachtel Lipton firm. He conducted a series of interviews some iPhone some in person he can that he concluded his investigation late last night. Seven draw the left Jeff give them my thought Jeff please don't Jeff right there. So the trouble. Chips and chips Sony USA today Adam you say you would encourage owners to. Forced the sale of the clippers when -- that actions take place. The process. Will begin immediately we will most likely use the standing committee of the NBA. Are the equivalent of our executive committees are advisory finance committee. I've had several discussions with Glen Taylor who is our chairman of the board and also the leader of the advisory finance committee and we will begin that process immediately. Third row on the end Howard. Are back -- report. At -- in your conversations with sterling did he own up to this immediately that was only after you guys have come come up with some sort of proof and then what. If anything has he expressed approaching. Remorse regret anything what's what's -- sentiment at this point. Mr. sterling acknowledged it was his voice on the tape. And he has not expressed to me directly any other views. We'll go right here please. And rose are all right C commissioner right here. What message do you have for the clippers and nets fans and their fan base in terms of moving forward from this point don't. My message to the clippers fans is this league is far bigger than anyone owner. Anyone coach anyone player this institution has been around for a long time it was stand for a long time and I have. Complete confidence in Doc Rivers. In the basketball management of that club. And players deserve their support they've just been through an incredibly difficult incident. In their lives. On your left partly over against -- wall. Are there are one of the punishment designed in effect. To get the message across to mr. sterling that there's no point in him there's no advantages no. And nothing to be seen from him continuing his ownership and also. In determining what the punishment would be including the suggestion to the board of governors. Did you take into account. Mr. sterling eased past behavior over to just based on this one particular incident. In meeting out this punishment we did not take into account his past behavior. When the board ultimately considers. His overall fitness. To be an owner in the NBA they were taken into account hit a lifetime behavior. To throw in the middle Kent. And burger from CBS sports -- com Adam can you just explained partly out present what specific. Power in the in the constitution and violence you exercise with your band and what specific. Was it a broad violation or specific violation and with respect to the forced sale. What specific section of the constitution covers that and is that he brought violation or specific. Cannot let the lawyers lay out for you this specific provisions of our constitution let's just leave it we have the authority to act as I've recommended. They throw on the back please commissioner Stephanie step from Harlem community radio is the NBA considering more African American ownership at this point. -- -- A thrown back in the middle. I'm sorry is sorry could you repeat the question source Stephanie step from Harlem community radio is the NBA considering more African American ownership at this point. We're always open to. Ownership from people of all races nationalities ethnicities. As you know we have an African American primary owner in the league right now Shaquille O'Neal just became a small owner of Sacramento Kings David Robinson is an owner. Of the San Antonio Spurs are back running deviate. A person of color born in Mumbai India just became the primary owner of -- Sacramento -- so I believe we have a very diverse league but I always like to see it become even more -- what about Magic Johnson is not an option -- At this point Magic Johnson knows he's always welcome as an owner in this week he's been a part owner in the past of the Los Angeles Lakers and he's. Always welcome and close friend of the NBA family who can. On your left Adam over. Maggie -- SI dot com. Do you talk to any of the players before you came to this decision and what about clippers players if they do not want to play. For a team owned by Donald Sterling anymore they have any recourse. I talked to several players. Before rendering my decision coincidentally I'd had a trip trip planned for this weekend I was in. Memphis for game I was in Oakland and then I was in Portland Sunday night for games I had a chance to talk directly to Chris Paul. I spoke to other members of the team I spoke extensively to Doc Rivers and I said Kevin Johnson has been representing the players interest. And he and I've been talking multiple times a day. So I believe the players will be satisfied. With the decision and the renderings that we made today. If a player in the future doesn't wanna play for the Los Angeles Clippers and he's under contract we'll deal with that. When it happens but that's not my sense of where we are -- Now. Back on the left. -- -- -- Cantina from the insider with this situation -- you moving forward to put new rules in place for owners and the NBA. I'm not sure I mean we who were always willing to take a fresh look at our rules our constitution and bylaws but I believe we have. Appropriate rules in place right now to cover a situation like this. Second row on the left and Adam Ian O'Connor ESPN New York I just be clear he said when specific evidence was brought the -- you did act so. In past cases. Has Donald Sterling ever -- finder suspended for racial or offensive remarks and if not wind up. He's never been suspended -- -- by the leak because while there have been well documented rumors and cases filed. He was sued and the plaintiffs lost the lawsuit. Was Elgin Baylor. There was a case brought by the Department of Justice which ultimately. Donald Sterling settled and there was no finding of guilt. And those are the only cases have been brought -- tension and windows. When that -- goes to litigation were brought -- were followed closely by the league office. But just follow to that one of the greatest players of all time Elgin Baylor accuse Donald Sterling front -- plantation style franchise. Did that not concern you why is that not basket despite the fact he lost the Casey. He has a a prominent standing in the league and he's had some very serious things. It concerns us greatly we followed the litigation closely and ultimately. Belgian -- did not prevail and that litigation. Second row right on the right side here commissions over Brandon Robinson the source magazine. Obviously CarMax. State farm withdrew their sponsorship with the LA clippers and use the commissioner of the NBA what would you tell other people -- Maybe on offense -- people who have withdrawn so wanna in the future investment in one of your franchises of the the only -- -- I would say that those marketing partners of the clippers and partners of the entire NBA should judge us by our response this incident and I think we've. Responded appropriately. I would be hopeful that they would return. On into their business relationships with the clippers. On the left on the front against the wall over there were -- left. Thank you Jason Carroll CNN. A wondering if you spoken to mr. sterling about this banner any of his representatives. And if so what has mr. sterling reaction did to the punishment. I did not speak directly to his representatives about. This stand. They were informed shortly before this press conference I did not hear precisely what their reaction was. Okay. Robert supplement from the Daily Beast have there been any decisions about whether the media members mr. -- Stanley including. Rochelle. And is. Will be allowed to remain in an ownership or managerial position in the league as well. Know there have been no decisions about other members of the sterling family. And I should say that. This ruling applies specifically to Donald sterling and Don sterling conduct only. Six -- on the right. Commissioner Mike McCarthy format age as you mentioned over a dozen sponsors that drop the clippers what has been the financial impact. On this franchise and on the leak from the scandal. You know Mike I don't know this is all happened. And in three days. And so I'm hopeful that there will be no long term damage. To the -- and to the clippers organization but as I said earlier. I'm outraged so I certainly understand other people's outrage. And -- take some time this will take some time. And an appropriate viewing will be necessary. Like I can understand. Precisely why you know whether they -- people. You know who -- affiliated with the NBA where the clippers for a long time or those corporate partners I can understand how upset they are. And I'll do my best to to bring them back into the NBA family. Atom chips are at a -- Middlesex row. Sean Gregory time if the owners vote three fourths vote not to. Forced the sale can you still on your powers institute a lifetime ban. The lifetime ban has been instituted that is independent of forcing a sale of the team. Okay and the metal given Mike the Carle place. Like the carrier post and can you sure that's what your initial reaction was when you first heard the voice -- tape and what was thousand. When -- first. Learned I was shocked. I was hoping somehow that it was fraudulent or that had it had been doctored. That possibly. It was -- indeed Donald Sterling. I I've known Donald for over twenty years so I suspected it was his voice and we set about immediately. Investigating and that was my reaction to -- sort of bear down and say let's get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible. Six grow on the right at the end. Commissioner Aaron -- ski from ABC. Mayor Johnson has indicated he would like the lead to undertake a full accounting of Donald Sterling is passed and the failures by the end VA 22 act until now is that an account you'd be willing to undertake. And it would to make any effort to mete out the personal views of the other NBA owners. This point. I've had. As I said earlier multiple commerce stations with Kevin Johnson. I'm hoping that the actions we take today will satisfy our players I believe. They should. To throw on the right right in front. Commissioner John Weinstein from New York one can you just tells you said you know Donald Sterling for twenty years. What are your interactions over those twenty years -- -- with him I have never seen anything like this have you ever felt anything like this and what kind of man did you attention to be. Prior to this. I'm. I have I have not been that close to him over the years but there's nothing I've ever seen in his behavior. That would evidence these kinds of views I've certainly. Again because there been a lot of public filings about his activities I've been aware of those accusations but there's nothing I've ever seen firsthand. That would indicate. That he held the views. That were expressed on these audio recording. Back in the middle please raise your -- in Syria thank you commissioner Howard -- sports on earth I'm curious just. -- you spoke about your your personal. Response to this. In terms of Donald Sterling. Self identifying as Jewish and and you doing the same as well I'm wondering whether there was a -- specific kind of pain associated with that for you. If you felt a certain responsibility. Within the Jewish community to be responding to this in this way. That's in my response was as the human being. And I and I use the word distraught before. I spoke on Saturday morning directly to Chris Paul to Doc Rivers and is it it it wasn't even anger at that point I mean there was a certain somberness. And frankly I felt. Sort of most strongly and personally for that team what this affects every player and anyone associated with the NBA family that for those players. And those coaches to go out and do what they need to do and play at the highest level in the world and have them hanging over this I think cause. Meet to have a certain sadness. I would say about the entire situation so I think this is regardless of anyone's. Religion ethnicity nationality. I think this is incredibly hurtful. Parliament take two more backed by the cameras. Mister mister Silva took the -- pix eleven news. At any time during -- conversation with mr. sterling did he express any remorse or denial regarding these comments. Mr. sterling has not express those views directly to me. Amounted to more and your right here for one. Commissioner Sandra is are -- -- to -- again. It's been suggested that the Sacramento players until the -- players be granted free agency at the end of this year as a result of this issue. Is that something that can be considered. That is not something we are considered. Final question in the back in the medal. President Jason page NBC Sports Radio if you don't get the three quarter vote that you need. Is it possible that adults only could still be an absentee owner profiting from this team even though KeySpan physically from doing anything with -- I flicks expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him.