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NBA moves step closer to oust Sterling

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The NBA initiated a charge seeking to terminate the ownership of Donald Sterling’s Los Angeles Clippers, the league announced Monday.

The league statement said that if the NBA Board of Governors sustains the charge by a three-fourths vote, all ownership interests in the Clippers will be terminated and the team will be sold to new owners.

“The NBA Constitution provides Mr. Sterling with the opportunity to respond to the charge by May 27, as well as the right to appear and make a presentation at a special meeting of the Board of Governors,” the statement said. “This hearing, which is planned for June 3, will be presided over by NBA Board of Governors chairman Glen Taylor, the controlling governor of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“The charge asserts that Mr. Sterling engaged in conduct that has damaged and continues to damage the NBA and its teams. Among other things, Mr. Sterling disparaged African-Americans and ‘minorities’; directed a female acquaintance not to associate publicly with African-Americans or to bring African-Americans to Clippers games; and criticized African-Americans for not supporting their communities.

“Mr. Sterling’s actions and positions significantly undermine the NBA’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion; damage the NBA’s relationship with its fans; harm NBA owners, players and Clippers team personnel; and impair the NBA’s relationship with marketing and merchandising partners, as well as with government and community leaders. Mr. Sterling engaged in other misconduct as well, including issuing a false and misleading press statement about this matter.

“All of these acts provide grounds for termination under several provisions of the NBA Constitution and related agreements.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver on April 29 banned Sterling for life for racist comments he made on an audio recording. Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million and urged league owners to force him to sell the team.

Last week in a letter sent to the league by his attorney, Sterling stated that he is not planning to pay the $2.5 million fine imposed by Silver.

Sterling told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview that aired last week that he is not a racist and that he is sorry for his earlier comments.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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