New NBA commissioner Adam Silver handed down punishment to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in a harsh and swift manner on Tuesday afternoon, announcing a lifetime ban from the league and a $2.5 million fine. Silver's decision comes three days after a recording of Sterling making racist remarks to girlfriend V. Stiviano surfaced on TMZ. Silver made it clear that the league will attempt to find new ownership for the Clippers. All the NBA needs is a three-quarters majority vote from the rest of the league's owners to force Sterling to sell the franchise.
Sterling's comments have overtaken the NBA news cycle during an exciting first round of the playoffs, and the announcement of the punishment levied by Silver was met with applause from those inside and outside of the league.
The Clippers issued the following statement at the conclusion of Silver's press conference:
LA Clippers statement: "We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver" pic.twitter.com/sYrRndN4Ip— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) April 29, 2014
The Clippers website accompanied the statement by changing its background to all black with the message "We are one" in white.
Magic Johnson was also quick to praise Silver for the decision. Johnson found himself at the center of the controversy because Sterling took exception to a photo Stiviano posted with the Lakers legend on Instagram.
Commissioner Silver showed great leadership in banning LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 29, 2014
Current and former NBA players now know that in Commissioner Adam Silver we have a great leader leading our league.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 29, 2014
Now let's hope that the other 29 owners do the right thing.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 29, 2014
LeBron James tweeted his support for Silver and the league's decision, as well:
Rev. Jesse Jackson voiced his support for the league's decision in an interview with Bloomberg:
"There's nothing more that needs to be done. I'm sure he has polled the owners … No owner will stand against this recommendation and vote for Sterling. If they did not do it, you would have mutiny by the players, boycotts by the fans and more dropouts from the advertisers.
"I cannot imagine any owner embracing what Sterling said about black people. He went a step further relative to Israel and blacks and Jews, how the blacks treated Israel. He took it very extreme and provocative dimensions. I think this is a big statement. We should celebrate Chris Paul and Doc Rivers, those that stood up in the heat of the battle. Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaq.
"There was a big fight to get Jackie Robinson on the field. A big fight when we had to fight to win the eligibility by Spencer Haywood. These are our defining moments.
"Yes I would help [Sterling if he called me]. [I would tell him], 'You should put the team up for sale.'"
NBA franchises, players and executives continued to comment on the Sterling ruling throughout the day.
Official statement from Nets on Adam Silver’s decision to ban Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life: pic.twitter.com/8j5AwSch3M— devin kharpertian (@uuords) April 29, 2014
Great Job!— Zach Randolph (@MacBo50) April 29, 2014
For life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!— JARRETT JACK (@Jarrettjack03) April 29, 2014
Commissioner Silver has made the right moves in response to this unfortunate absurd spectacle. #ZeroTolerance— Dan Gilbert (@cavsdan) April 29, 2014
Proud of the #NBA and their handling of the offensive comments made by Sterling. I'm honored to be joining this league and family.— andrew wiggins (@22wiggins) April 29, 2014
Big ups to Adam Silver. I think this is a very appropriate way to handle this situation. Now it's up to the owners to make him sell.— Mario Chalmers (@mchalmers15) April 29, 2014
Way to go, Commissioner Silver! The NBA stands for everybody!— SHAQ (@SHAQ) April 29, 2014
Great job Adam.The @NBA is in good hands. You have my full support.— Micky Arison (@MickyArison) April 29, 2014
We'll give the final word to Rick Ross:
Commissioner Silver a Boss. @nba— Mastermind (@rickyrozay) April 29, 2014
The people have spoken.