PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The NBA has banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life.
League Commissioner Adam Silver says Sterling admitted that it is his voice on recordings of racist comments.
Sterling’s ban means he can’t go anywhere near any NBA facilities, can’t go to any games or practices, can’t be part of any team or league business.
He was also fined $2.5 million, and Commissioner Silver says Sterling should lose the team entirely.
Meanwhile, athletes in various sports have been very outspoken about Sterling’s comments.
Whether it’s on ice, on the hardwood, or on grass, professional athletes play for the ring, the check and for respect.
It’s that last part that had the Clippers dropping their warm-up suits at midcourt the other day, and for athletes everywhere made today’s lifetime ban a victory.
“I think it was warranted. I think it was needed,” said Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum. “I think there needed to be a mandate that needed to be put down.”
The Steelers feel for their professional colleagues on the Clippers.
“In the back of their mind, everybody’s talking about it, and it’s tough when you’ve got a playoff series going on now,” said defensive end Cameron Heyward.
“It has to be rough to go out there and play a game knowing that your owner, the guy that you’ve shaken hands with, the guy that you’ve had a chance to sit down and talk with, the guy that writes you check and cuts your check on a week-to-week basis has said those things, and to still go out and play has to be heavy on their hearts,” added Beachum.
Lance Moore, a 10-year NFL veteran and new Steelers’ wide receiver, says the Clippers are in a difficult position.
“At the end of the day, their job is to play basketball. They don’t control anybody else’s view or things that they’re worried about, they’ve got to go out there and play the game,” said Moore.
But all the Steelers say this situation makes them thankful they play for the Rooneys.
“Any man that can come up and shake your hand, and talk to you, and have a relationship with you, and you know, genuinely that that’s how he feels about you is a great thing,” said Beachum.
“They’re awesome,” added Moore. “They’re all about their players and their organization and doing things the right way.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Bob Casey released this statement on Sterling’s punishment:
“The NBA made the right decision today in banning Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fining him the maximum amount allowable under its bylaws. Racism has no place in our society and should not be tolerated in sports or any other arena. The game of basketball has played an important role in bringing together people of all races and backgrounds. I urge all NBA owners to vote in favor of forcing Mr. Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.”
Former Steeler Edmund Nelson joined The KDKA Radio Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway to give his thoughts on the Sterling decision.
Nelson says he was, “completely shocked,” when he first heard of the news. He also says in his opinion the response of the NBA is, “absolutely appropriate. There’s no place in the game, there’s no place in any game, there’s no place in society for that [kind of behavior].”
Listen to the KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.