His words sounded forceful. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver classified Donald Sterling’s racially disparaging remarks on an audio tape “as deeply offensive and hurtful.”
His punishment seemed harsh yet fair. Silver issued Sterling a life-time ban, a $2.5 million fine and urged the league’s Board of Governors made up of NBA owners to force him to sell the Clippers franchise.
His actions seemed quick. Silver plans to appoint a new chief executive officer to oversee the Clippers, and the NBA announced Tuesday that president Andy Roeser will take an indefinite leave of absence. The NBA will likely hold a vote this week that rules Sterling must sell the team.
“If he wants to, he could tie it up for a very long time,” said Notre Dame sports economics professor Richard Sheehan. “But I bet that he wouldn’t. The cost of him doing so would be very extreme.”