NBA Commissioner Silver slam dunks his first crisis

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“Effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA…I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team and will do everything in my power to ensure that that happens.”—NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

Adam Silver, who has only been Commissioner of the National Basketball Association for three months, made a bold leadership statement when he took swift and tough action in response to hateful and racist comments made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. We applaud Silver’s lifetime ban of Sterling and his unambiguous insistence on respecting the racial diversity among players and fans for which the league is known. First a quick recap.

On April 25, TMZ, the celebrity news website, aired the audio tape of a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend. During their conversation, Sterling said in part: “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with Black people. Do you have to? …You can sleep with them. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it…and not to bring them to my games.”

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