On Monday the NBA officially charged Donald Sterling with damaging the league and its teams with his racist comments, and set up a hearing on June 3 where the other owners could vote to terminate his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The league additionally said that the banned owner has conducted himself in a way that has damaged its relationships with fans and merchandising partners. Basically, the NBA claims Sterling is bad for business and is a horrible representative for the league, so he has to go.
In a statement the league said the following:
All of these acts provide grounds for termination under several provisions of the NBA constitution and related agreements.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life and issued a $2.5 million fine after the release of a recording in which he made racist comments to his mistresses, V. Stiviano. He has until May 27 to respond to the charge and can appear at the June 3 hearing and present his case to the NBA’s board of governors. If he doesn’t respond to the charges or appear at the hearing, it would be deemed an admission of his guilt according to the NBA’s constitution.
Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is the chairman of the board of governors and will preside over the hearing. The hearing will likely last two days and is set for just before the NBA Finals. If two-thirds of the owners vote to oust him, Sterling will be forced to sell the team.
Silver is confident he has to votes to boot Sterling.
The NBA’s statement about the charges continued:
Among other things, Mr. Sterling disparaged African-Americans and ‘minorities’; directed a female acquaintance not to associate publicly with African-Americans or to bring African-Americans to Clippers games; and criticized African-Americans for not supporting their communities.
Mr. Sterling’s actions and positions significantly undermine the NBA’s efforts to promote player diversity and inclusion; damage the NBA’s relationship with its fan; harm NBA owners, players and Clippers team personnel; and impair the NBA’s relationship with marketing and merchandising partners, as well as with government and community leaders.
From that statement, two things are clear: 1. Whoever is writing the NBA’s press releases loves semi-colons, and 2. Sterling is done, he has zero chance.
A significant number of sponsors immediately suspended their deals with the Clippers and several prominent players have claimed they would consider a boycott next season if Sterling was still the Clippers owner. The league can’t have stuff like that hanging over its head.
There is no way the other owners don’t vote to oust him.