Los Angeles Clippers owner close to being forced out of the league.
Maligned NBA team owner Donald Sterling has opened up in the wake of his racist comments with the real estate tycoon saying he should have paid his girlfriend to stay quiet.
A recording of Sterling saying he did not want V. Stiviano bringing black people to his home games or associating with people of other races on her social media sites.
“I wish I had just paid her off,” Sterling said in the wake of the scandal.
After it was confirmed that it was Sterling’s voice on the recording, NBA commissioner Adam Silver moved quickly to enact the biggest punishment possible.
A lifetime ban from all aspects of the NBA and a $2.5 million fine, the largest possible allowed under the league’s by-laws.
Now the NBA will be looking to cast a vote amongst the other 29 owners to force Sterling to sell the Clippers, which he bought for just $12 million back in 1981 making him currently the longest running owner of any team in the league.
Reports suggest that the vote will come back 29-0 in favour of forcing Sterling to rid himself of the controlling interest in the team, with several celebrities expressing an interest in buying the team, including Magic Johnson, Oprah, Floyd Mayweather, Osca de la Hoya and Matt Damon.
Stiviano has also spoken publicly after the scandal which she helped create, saying in her heart she does not believe Sterling is a racist, despite having a checkered past in terms of dealing with players of other races.
“I think he feels very alone, not truly supported by those around him. Tormented, emotionally traumatized,” she said.
Stiviano said she served as Sterling’s “protector” and loved him “like a father” but also conceded that he should apologise for what he said on the recording.