NBA bans Sterling for life, levies $2.5M fine

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The NBA Commissioner banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and impose a $2.5 million fine against him.

The sanctions against Sterling do not include forcing him to sell his team. Commissioner Adam Silver used a forensic expert to review a recording of Sterling making racist remarks against black people to his girlfriend, and the expert found no evidence it was altered, and also confirmed it was Sterling who was speaking in the recording.

Whether or not the remarks were initially private, they are now public, and they represent Sterling's views, Silver said in a news conference Tuesday. He says that Sterling acknowledged it was his voice on the tape.

Silver is urging the Board of Governors to force a sale of the Clippers team, and will do everything in his power to see that it happens, he said in a news conference Tuesday. He went on to say that owners have the authority subject to a 3/4 vote to remove Sterling as an owner.

"I fully expect to get the support I need," Silver said.

The Celtics released the following statement Tuesday: "The entire Boston Celtics organization and our ownership group fully support the decisive action taken by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver today. The Celtics stand for inclusion and equality and we are proud to be part of a league that shares the same values."

Former Celtic and former LA Clipper Cedric Maxwell said on the phone that the NBA made the right move.

"Just like Big Papi home run here! I think the commissioner did the right thing. It was decisive, it was quick, it was right to the point," he said.

Now that Sterling is no longer calling the shots, the team responded publicly, and they support the punishment.

The LA Clippers website has also changed and is now just a single page stating We Are One.

Coach Doc Rivers weighed in as well.

"No matter what the race is it's been difficult. I thought Adam Silver was fantastic. Personally he made the decision, that really was the right one, that had to be made," he said.

In response to a question about why the NBA has not acted previously when Sterling has been named in lawsuits alleging racist and discriminatory behavior, Silver said those cases were either dropped or settled, so the NBA did not act.