NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Sports fans across the Tri-State area have been following closely the controversy over racially charged comments made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

1010 WINS’ Derricke Dennis spoke with basketball fans in Chelsea Piers on Tuesday who said they believe the NBA was right to ban Sterling for life.

“He’s just acting like a complete idiot,” said Washington Heights resident Pedro Tosada. “It’s uncivilized and inhuman.”

“That’s stupid. That’s ignorant,” Jamaica, Queens resident Norton Richards said of Sterling’s comments.

Sterling, who was already a controversial team owner, was recorded chastising a woman for posting a picture of herself online with NBA star Magic Johnson, Dennis reported.

In the past, he’s faced extensive federal charges of civil rights violations and racial discrimination in his business dealings, and some of his race-related statements would be described as shocking.

“What he said, as an African-American, was very offensive,” said Michael Norton, of Chelsea.

Nortan said although he is offended, he also supports Sterling’s right to free speech.

“Oh yeah, he should be suspended, he should be punished. But banned for life?” he said.

The ban is considered to be the first step toward forcing a sale of the club and permanently removing Sterling from the league.

“I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners I need to remove him,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.

Silver, who announced the ban in a news conference Tuesday afternoon, also fined Sterling $2.5 million.

The penalties are the harshest ever issued by the league and among the stiffest punishments ever given to an owner in professional sports.

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