In an extended statement posted to Facebook, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has called on NBA commissioner Adam Silver to impose an indefinite suspension and a hefty fine on Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was allegedly caught on tape making a series of racist comments.
Johnson, a former NBA All-Star who is speaking in an advisory role on behalf of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), said that racism is “still alive and well in our country” and that professional sports should help “bridge racial divides.” Asserting that Sterling has “no place in our league” and that his alleged comments “represent the worst of ignorance and intolerance,” Johnson called on Silver to strip Sterling of his ownership rights.
“The NBPA has asked Commissioner Silver to impose the most severe sanctions possible under the NBA bylaws,” Johnson’s statement read. “We may not have the power to force Mr. Sterling to sell his team, but make no mistake, we believe that Mr. Sterling should no longer have the privilege of being an owner of an NBA team. After all, how can we expect any player (the majority of whom are African-American) to want to work for him?
“At a minimum, Mr. Sterling should be suspended indefinitely, banned from games, slapped with the maximum fine possible, and forced to extract himself from basketball operations. He should be required to name someone from his executive team or family to take over all duties related to the Clippers.
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