Donald Sterling
Sterling faces life time NBA ban.

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and handed a heavy fine after he was recorded making racist comments.

Sterling's remarks where he told a woman, believed to be his girlfriend, he did not want her to bring her black friends to Clippers' game sparked outrage after being released by website TMZ last Friday.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver yesterday confirmed that swift action had been taken in fining the 80-year-old $2.5m, a mere fraction of his $1.9 billion net worth, and barring him from having anymore to do with the NBA or the Clippers organisation, from attending any Clippers games, practices and official functions and from participating in any business, staff or player decisions.

"The views expressed by Mr Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful. That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage," Silver told a press conference.

"We stand together in condemning Mr Sterling's views. They simply have no place in the NBA."

Silver also announced he would encourage the NBA's board of governors to force Sterling into selling his stake in the Clippers which he has held since 1981. In order to do so Silver's proposal will require the approval of three quarters of NBA owners, an outcome the commissioner is confident of.

In the wake of the incident the Clippers' official homepage has been replaced with a simple message reading: "We are one."

A statement from head coach and senior vice president roif basketball operations Doc Rivers said: "We are all trying to figure out everything as it goes and just do our best and we hope that it is the right answer. I'm still going to do my best and do what I think is best for the team and for everybody in this case. It is very difficult because there are so many emotions in this. This is a very emotional subject, this is personal.

"My belief is that the longer we keep winning, the more we talk about this. I believe that is good. If we want to make a statement - I believe that is how we have to do it. I think that is the right way to do it, but that doesn't mean we still don't wrestle with it every day and every moment. That is the difficult part.

"We are all doing our best here. Our players are doing their best. There are a lot of people involved in this. From one man's comments, a lot of people have been affected and the conversations that we're all having do need to be had."