NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s message to fans


(Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

Just hours after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver dropped the hammer of justice on Donald Sterling for making racist remarks to his possible ex-girlfriend, he posted a letter on NBA’s Web site addressed to basketball fans.

This afternoon I announced that, following the completion of a thorough investigation into an audio recording obtained by TMZ, I banned Donald Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers or the NBA, effective immediately. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, be present at any Clippers office or facility, or participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team. I also fined Mr. Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA Constitution. These funds will be donated to charitable organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and its Players Association.

The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and hurtful. I am extremely proud of this great league’s diverse, respectful and inclusive culture, and we will not allow one individual’s intolerant views to define us. Let me be clear: Mr. Sterling’s views have no place in the NBA.

This has been a painful episode for all members of the NBA family. I very much appreciate your understanding during this process. I also want to express my thanks and admiration to Coach Doc Rivers, Chris Paul, and the entire Clippers organization for their professionalism throughout this matter, and to Chris and Mayor Kevin Johnson for their leadership and partnership on behalf of the Players Association.

And now I am eager to turn the spotlight back where it belongs: on the game we all love and on these thrilling playoffs, which have been some of the most exciting basketball I’ve seen in my 22 years with the league. I hope you enjoy the rest of the playoffs and The Finals.

Sincerely,

Adam Silver

Numerous fans and players took to social media as soon as Silver announced Sterling’s unprecedented punishment, hailing him for his strong resolve and expressing their new respect for Silver, who had disappointed many fans Saturday when he seemed to waffle on the matter. Basketball enthusiast and current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan seems to speak for the masses:

More on Donald Sterling and the Clippers:

What are the Clippers worth?

Donald Sterling is banned for life from NBA

Sterling joins list of banned owners

Doc Rivers future may be up in the air

How the ‘nuclear option’ could work with Sterling

Late-night shows roast Sterling to varied success

Mark Jackson: Fans should protest Game 5

Donald Trump says Sterling’s girlfriend set him up

Sterling costs Clippers a bevy of sponsors

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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