NBA owners came out in strong support of commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the league for life Tuesday.
Shortly after Silver announced the ban, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted his support:
Cuban’s sentiment was echoed by Miami Heat owner Micky Arison:
And Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert:
The Celtics later released the following statement:
The entire Boston Celtics organization and our ownership group fully support the decisive action taken by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver today. The Celtics stand for inclusion and equality, and we are proud to be a part of a league that shares the same values.
Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan was the first to express his displeasure with Sterling, saying there was “no room in the NBA—or anywhere else—for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed.” Jordan was later joined by Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson, who said on an Atlanta radio station that Sterling “should be given the maximum penalt for his comments.” The $2.5 million fine the NBA levied on Sterling was the maximum allowed,
Later in the day, Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen also stood behind Silver’s decision, as well as Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis.
The owners now must decide whether or not to strip Sterling’s ownership of the teamn by forcing a sale. According to the league’s bylawsm, the owners can terminate Sterling’s ownership rights with a vote of 3/4 of the NBA Board of Governors, which is composed of all 30 owners. Silver said he expects the owners to pass the vote.
“I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force the sale of the team,” Silver said. “I will do everything in my power to ensure that that happens. … I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners.”
On Tuesday, the NBA Players Association urged owners to take action on a vote as quickly as possible.