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Saturday 30 August 2014

NBA team owner gets a life ban for racism

Steve Watson in Los Angeles

Published 30/04/2014 | 02:30

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Donald Sterling and V Stiviano at a Clippers game in LA. AP
Donald Sterling and V Stiviano at a Clippers game in LA. AP

A basketball team owner in the United States has been banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5m (€1.8m) after being found guilty of making racist comments on tape.

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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling had found himself at the centre of huge controversy after American network TMZ broadcast the 80-year-old apparently telling a girlfriend not to bring black people to the team's games.

His comments had led to Clippers players making a silent protest ahead of their NBA Western Conference play-off series defeat to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday evening.

The NBA has taken a dim view of the furore and a statement on the league's Twitter account said that Mr Sterling had "violated league rules through his expressions of offensive and hurtful views, the impact of which has been widely felt throughout the league".

He is banned from any association with the Clippers or the NBA, meaning he may not be allowed to attend any games or practice sessions.

The sanction also means Mr Sterling may not "be present at any Clippers office or facility, or participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team".

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said: "The views expressed by Mr Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful. Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic league."

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