Obama Backs NBA on Racist Team Owner
U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday expressed support for the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) decision to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life, after a recording of racist comments he made about black people was made public.
According to The Associated Press (AP), White House press secretary Jay Carney. Carney said that Obama believes the league did the right thing in response to Sterling's racist comments.
In the recordings that were released, Sterling was heard berating his girlfriend Vanessa Stiviano about her "associating with black people", and telling her not to bring "blacks" to basketball games. Obama was among those who condemned Sterling for the comments.
In addition to Sterling’s ban, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he would push the disgraced owner to sell his franchise. Sterling has already been fined $2.5 million; the money will reportedly be donated to anti-racism charities.
"We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views, they simply have no place in the NBA," he said. "This league is far bigger than any one owner, any one coach and any one player."
Following the announcement of the ban, it was reported that Jewish music mogul David Geffen was interested in purchasing the LA Clippers. On Wednesday, ESPN reported that Oprah Winfrey had expressed interest in buying the team as well.