NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Count Knicks owner James Dolan as one who thinks the NBA got things right on Tuesday.
Dolan released a statement backing NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fine him $2.5 million after he used racists comments that were secretly recorded by his mistress.
“I have been in touch with the NBA and fully support Commissioner Silver’s decision. I applaud Adam for acting quickly and decisively in appropriately addressing these disgusting and offensive comments. This kind of behavior has no place in basketball, or anywhere else, and we as a league must stand together in condemning this ignorance,” Dolan said.
The last part of his statement likely means Dolan will definitely vote in favor of the owners forcing Sterling to sell the team. During Tuesday’s press conference, Silver said that’s precisely his goal — to get 75 percent of the owners to sign off on removing Sterling.
“I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him,” Silver said. “I can understand how upset (fans and sponsors) are, and I will do my best to bring them back to the NBA family.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was one of several other owners to come out in favor of Silver’s decision. Tweeting the following:
New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson agreed, as did the hierarchy of the Chicago Bulls.
“In light of the serious matter facing our league, a matter than transcends sports, the New Orleans Pelicans fully support the decisions made today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and will fully support his recommendations moving forward,” Benson said in a statement.
“We completely support commissioner Silver’s decision today regarding Clippers owner Donald Sterling and praise him for his prompt investigation and action. The commissioner was correct to ban Mr. Sterling from all official NBA business, to levy the stiffest allowable fine, and we will support his recommendation to press for Mr. Sterling to relinquish his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise,” Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and team president Michael Reinsdorf said in a joint statement.
Silver also received statements of support from ownership of the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder, as well tweets from the owners of the Miami Heat and Sacramento Kings.
The Sterling fiasco created a firestorm across the NBA and became of a topic of discussion throughout American culture. The 80-year-old billionaire was secretly recorded recently by his mistress, V. Stiviano, and said, among other things, how he would prefer she not bring black celebrities to Clippers games.
The outrage was immediate, with many prominent black public figures, including President Barack Obama and The Rev. Al Sharpton, plus NBA legends Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan leading the charge in condemning Sterling’s comments.
NBA players lodged on-court protests against Sterling and companies either suspended or dropped sponsorship of the Clippers.
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