LA Clippers' owner is banned for life -- and players, politicians like what they hear

Reaction was swift and seemed nearly unanimous.

NBA players and politicians watched the announcement by the new commissioner of the National Basketball Association from Los Angeles City Hall and they got what they wanted.

basketball-sterling-reaction.jpg
Players and politicians listened to the news at Los Angeles City Hall
CBS News

On Tuesday, Commissioner Adam Silver banned Los Angeles Clippers' owner Donald Sterling for life and urged the rest of the NBA owners to force him to sell his team. It is punishment for racist comments the 80-year-old Sterling admits that he made, comments condemned by President Obama as "incredibly offensive."

"This is a defining moment in our history," said former NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson, now an adviser to the National Basketball Players Association. "Today stands as one of those great moments where sports once again transcends, where sports provides a place for fundamental change on how our country should think and act."

basketball-sterling-reaction-johnson.jpg
Former NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson
CBS News

But if Silver had not acted swiftly to punish Sterling for his racist remarks, the players were prepared to make a move.

"I reached out to other players around the league and made it clear that the players were ready to boycott the games," said Roger Mason, the vice president of the players association.

They are now demanding an immediate vote from team owners to oust Sterling. Do they believe the Board of Governors will have enough support to force the sale of the team?

"Man I haven't heard one owner not support Sterling selling his team immediately," Mason said. "I know a lot of owners personally from spending time during negotiations. I would be shocked if it wasn't unanimous."

Reaction on social media was immediate.

basketball-sterling-reaction-james.jpg
Reaction on social media came immediately
CBS News

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wrote, "I agree 100% with Commissioner Silvers findings."

Magic Johnson said, "Commissioner Silver showed great leadership in banning LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life."

And LeBron James said, "thank you for protecting our beautiful and powerful league!!"

In a statement the Clippers said, "Now the healing begins." The team's website's homepage was changed to show only a team logo, with the words: "We are one."


Protestors were planning a rally at Staples Center Tuesday night before the Clippers take the court. But the tone of that protest is changing to support the team and encourage team owners to vote out Sterling.

What will the owners do? CBS News called the other 29 NBA teams on Tuesday. Most of them wouldn't comment yet but the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and Chicago Bulls told us that they support forcing Sterling to sell.


  • Carter Evans

Comments

Follow Us