retail news in context, analysis with attitude

National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner Adam Silver yesterday banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life, as he tried to resolve a sports and cultural controversy ignited when Sterling made racist comments about African-Americans in a conversation with his mistress that she surreptitiously recorded.

In addition, Sterling was hit with a $2.5 million fine - a nominal amount since Sterling reportedly is worth close to two billion dollars. And, Silver said, he will seek a vote of the owners (three quarters is required) to force Sterling to sell the team.

Sterling has not yet commented on the punishment.

"The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful," Silver said at a press conference. "We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views. They simply have no place in the NBA."

The Clippers' website yesterday featured an all-black background with three words inscribed next to the team logo: "We Are One."

The NBA ruling headed off what could have been a potential disaster for the NBA, as players were at least considering a boycott of last night's scheduled playoff games if they were not satisfied with the league's response.
KC's View: