Sterling banned for life, fined $2.5M for racially charged comme - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Sterling banned for life, fined $2.5M for racially charged comments

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(AP Photo/Danny Moloshok). FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 19, 2010 photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling watches the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok). FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 19, 2010 photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling watches the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles.
LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA for life following an investigation in racially-charged comments made in a phone conversation.  NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also says Sterling will be fined $2.5 million by the league.  Silver also urged the league to pursue forcing Sterling to sell the team.

Pacers owner Herb Simon issued a written statement on the decision saying, “I wholeheartedly endorse Commissioner Adam Silver’s swift, strong and decisive action with regard to Donald Sterling. These past days have been both sad and disturbing for the NBA family. It is our responsibility to continue as models of the diversity and inclusion the NBA has long and justly represented.”

Meanwhile, the Clippers are already taking hits in other ways over Sterling's alleged comments.

CarMax and Virgin America announced they are ending their sponsorships of the team, and Kia Motors America plans to suspend its advertising and sponsorship activities with the franchise. Insurer State Farm said it "will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization," though the popular ad campaign featuring Clippers guard Chris Paul will continue, as will the company's initiatives with the NBA.

Los Angeles-based AQUAhydrate - launched by rap mogul Sean "P Diddy" Combs and actor Mark Wahlberg - also said it was suspending its sponsorship "in the wake of Sterling's alleged intolerable comments ... until the NBA completes its investigation."

Losing sponsors would not seem to be an issue that only hurts the Clippers, either. It could potentially impact bottom lines across the league because of revenue sharing and Basketball Related Income, or BRI.

The NAACP said it has decided not to honor Sterling with a previously announced lifetime achievement award from its Los Angeles chapter. The NAACP said it also plans to return an undisclosed amount of donations the Clippers owner has made to the organization.

The Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation gave $5,000 to the NAACP's Los Angeles chapter in 2010, according to tax records, and Sterling was listed as his foundation's only contributor. There were no records of further NAACP contributions in 2011 or 2012, the latest years for which records were available.

Several team owners have condemned the alleged remarks in recent days, including Charlotte's Michael Jordan, Miami's Micky Arison, Washington's Ted Leonsis and Indiana's Herb Simon.

The Associated Press Contributed to the content of this story

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