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NBA bans LA Clippers ‘racist’ owner for life

BANNED: An image of Sterling is held aloft by fans angry at the LA Clippers owner for his racist remarks (PA)

LOS ANGELES Clippers owner Donald Sterling has received a lifetime ban from the NBA after he was caught on a recording making racist remarks about black people.

The 80-year-old has been fined $2.5m (£1.5m) by the league, which is the maximum amount, for the comments he made to his girlfriend about her taking pictures of herself with black people and bringing them to games.

In the recording, which was posted online by website TMZ, he is heard to tell a woman that she should not associate with black people or invite them to his games. He is also heard to single out former NBA star Magic Johnson as an example.

Sterling has admitted it was his voice on the recording, but claimed the views expressed do not reflect his own.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Sterling will now have to sell his share in the Clippers and will never again be allowed to attend NBA games or training sessions.

In a news conference yesterday (Apr 29), Silver said Sterling’s “hateful opinions... simply have no place in the NBA”.

He added: “That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage.

“I am personally distraught that the views expressed by Mr Sterling came from within an institution that has historically taken a leadership role in matters of race relations.”

The fine levied on Sterling will be donated to organisations combating racism, according to Silver.

The NBA’s swift and decisive reaction to Sterling’s racist remarks have been welcomed throughout the world of sport, with many online questioning why football authorities in Britain cannot act in a similar way.

Magic Johnson said in a tweet: “Commissioner Silver showed great leadership in banning [Sterling]”.

Meanwhile, boxing's pound-for-pound best fight Floyd Mayweather has said he wants to buy a stake in the Clippers.

He said: Do I want to buy the Clippers? Yes I do. I can bring together a group of people who can afford it.

"Buying a major league franchise is something I want to add to our growing Mayweather Promotions business, which is no longer only about boxing. We are already in clothing, music, movies."

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