Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver says he has “full support” for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fine him $2.5 million.
In a statement released by the team, Sarver called Sterling’s comments on race “disturbing” and said Silver’s decision “upholds the principles of diversity, tolerance and respect for all people that the NBA and Phoenix Suns represent.”
The NBA banned Sterling for life for his racist remarks released in audio recordings over the weekend. The league also fined Sterling 2.5 million dollars, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution.
Appearing at a press conference in New York, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he was going to ask the league’s owners to agree to force a sale of the LA Clippers.
Silver said the NBA had examined the recordings and interviewed Sterling and determined that the “hateful opinions are those of Mr Sterling.”
He called Sterling’s recorded remarks “deeply offensive and harmful.”
A firestorm of controversy was created when celebrity gossip site TMZ released a 10-minute audio recording Saturday.
On the recording, the person identified as Sterling was arguing with his girlfriend for posting a photo of herself on Instagram posing with LA Lakers legend Magic Johnson, and urging her not to bring black players to his team’s games among other issues.
The bigoted comments triggered a heavy outcry from world leaders to past and present NBA players along with other team owners condemning Sterling.