Figures in the Donald Sterling Controversy

Clippers owner Donald Sterling is under fire for allegedly making racist remarks, drawing the ire of players, fans, activists and politicians.

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that he is banning Los Angeles Clipper owner Donald Sterling for life from the Clippers organization and fining him $2.5 million over racist comments he made in a recording.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling will be banned for life and fined $2.5 million for racist comments, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday after making racist comments in an audio recording released by TMZ Sports.
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Sterling is pictured here with girlfriend V. Stiviano (right). In the audio recording, the man tells the woman, "Yeah, it bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people."
The comments were allegedly made after Sterling’s girlfriend posted a photo on Instagram posing with Magic Johnson. The former Lakers star and current Dodgers owner later tweeted, "LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling's comments about African Americans are a black eye for the NBA."
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Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has been dragged into the controversy. In an extended version of the original audio clip obtained by TMZ Sports, a woman says she didn't remove a photo she took with Kemp from her Instagram account even after being asked to remove all African-Americans from her profile by the man in the conversation, identified by Deadspin as Sterling.
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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (right) said an investigation has been launched into Sterling's alleged racial comments. Silver called the remarks "offensive and disturbing."
The Clippers chose not to speak publicly about owner Donald Sterling during Game 4 of their playoffs series against the Golden State Warriors. Instead, they made a silent protest. The players wore their red Clippers' warmup shirts inside out to hide the team's logo.
Head coach Doc Rivers said he "didn't know yet" if he wanted to continue working with Sterling and the Clippers.
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Among those who have spoken out publicly to condemn the alleged Sterling remarks are Michael Jordan (left) and Kobe Bryant. "I'm obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views," Jordan said in a statement. Bryant tweeted that Sterling, "should not continue owning the clippers (sic)."
Elgin Baylor, the former NBA great who served as the Clippers' GM for 22 years, left the franchise with rancor and an unsuccessful lawsuit alleging race and age discrimination. Baylor claimed Sterling has a "plantation mentality" about the Clippers, envisioning a team of "poor black boys from the South playing for a white coach."
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Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, the former NBA All-Star who is serving as an adviser to the National Basketball Players Association while the Sterling matter plays out, called it "a massive distraction" to the league.
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Miami Heat star LeBron James said the commissioner needed to take action, going so far as to suggest "there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league."
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Sterling's wife Shelly Sterling, pictured courtside during a game at Staples Center in November 2013, said she and her children did not share her husband's "despicable views or prejudices," TMZ Sports reported.
Companies began yanking sponsorship from Clippers in an effort to distance themselves from the controversy surrounding Sterling. Virgin America, Sprint, Red Bull, AQUAhydrate and CarMax are among the growing list of companies to express their disappointment, all of them issuing statements decrying racism and upholding diversity.
The Los Angeles NAACP confirmed during a news conference that Sterling will no longer receive a lifetime achievement award next month and that money donated by the embattled owner will be returned.
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Steve Ballmer (L), with NBA Commissioner Adam SIlver at a playoff game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers, presented a bid proposal that was announced May 29, 2014. Ballmer, ex-Microsoft CEO, and Silver are pictured at Staples Center on May 11, 2014.
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