LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling sits with V. Stiviano at a game in 2013. Credit: Getty Images
The NBA banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life Tuesday, an unprecedented move in the league's history. Sterling will also be fined $2.5 million by the league, the maximum amount allowed under NBA bylaws.
Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices going forward.
"Shorty after the release of an audio recording, the NBA commenced an investigation and that investigation is now complete," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said at a press conference Tuesday. "The hateful opinions [on the tape] are those of Mr. Sterling. The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply hurtful."
Sterling's ownership of the Clippers has been under a microscope since late last week when TMZ Sports released audio of Sterling telling female friend V. Stiviano that he does not want her to bring black people to Clippers games.
"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?," Sterling was allegedly heard saying on the tape. ""You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games."
Sterling's representatives claim the tape, which includes several other remarks which have been deemed racist, has been doctored. Sterling's wife also alleges that Stiviano embezzled nearly $2 million from Sterling's fortune.
The suspension of Sterling was the first major decision that new league commissioner Adam Silver has had to make. Silver took over for longtime NBA commissioner David Stern in February.
The Clippers are currently playing the Golden State Warriors in the NBA playoffs and will play Game 5 of their first round series Tuesday night in LA.