LA City Council Demands Donald Sterling Apology
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — The LA City Council is demanding that Donald Sterling apologize to basketball legend Magic Johnson and LA residents for his racist remarks.
The council on Tuesday unanimously passed a motion that also endorses the NBA’s decision to ban the LA Clippers owner from pro basketball for life.
The motion also asks the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers to stop running ads for what it calls Sterling’s “real estate empire and alleged civic activities.”
The Times had no immediate comment on the request.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and several current and former NBA players later held a news conference hailing the ban but also urging fans to support the Clippers, who face the Golden State Warriors in a Tuesday night playoff game.
“We may be a two-team town, but today we are behind one team,” the mayor said. “The statements that we heard that we now have confirmed are the exact opposite of what this town is about. And today we stand as Angelenos, as angels in this city that we will not tolerate from anybody, from any company, least of all from one that bears this great city’s name.”
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, now acting as a representative for the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), said players want three things: immediate action, a seat at the table in future proceedings and the maximum penalty allowed, including a change in ownership.
“I hope that every bigot in this country sees what happened to Mr. Sterling and recognizes that if he can fall so can you,” Johnson said.
NBPA Vice President and former Sacramento King player Roger Mason said players were ready to boycott: “This wasn’t just about black or white, this really was about right and wrong. This offended people across the board and we will not be discriminated against.”
Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers says the media firestorm has been tough on the players.
“This last three or four days have been very difficult for everybody involved. No matter what the race is, it’s been difficult. I thought Adam Silver today was fantastic. Personally, I thought he made a decision that had to be made. I don’t think this is something we rejoice in, or anything like that. I told the players about the decision and I think they were just happy that it was a resolution, and it’s over, or at least the start of it to be.”
Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says every player he has spoken with was satisfied with Sterling’s punishment.
“This is going to be a new day here in this city. And a lot of Clipper fans are going to have a lot more to smile about, and that is what this is all about,” Abdul-Jabbar said.
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