Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver has announced his support in the wake of NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s punishments placed on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Sterling’s voice was verified to be on an audio recording of racially-charged discussion between Sterling and his girlfriend, Silver announced Tuesday. The NBA has placed a lifetime ban on Sterling from NBA and Clippers ongoings, fined him $2.5 million — the maximum fine allowed — and will seek a three-fourths vote from NBA owners to remove Sterling.
“I applaud the actions taken today by Commissioner Silver in response to the disturbing comments made by Donald Sterling,” Sarver said in a statement. “Commissioner Silver’s decision upholds the principles of diversity, tolerance and respect for all people that the NBA and Phoenix Suns represent. The Commissioner has my full support.”
The Suns joined the Clippers, among others, in making a “We Are One” splash page.
On Monday, Sarver condemned Sterling’s comments from the audio recordings first published by TMZ — Silver said during his press conference that Sterling admitted to him that they included his voice.
Silver said during his press conference in New York that he fully expects to earn enough votes to push Sterling out of ownership.
On ownership super majority needed to vote Sterling out, one Board of Governor tells Yahoo: “Adam has the votes – all of them, I believe.”
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) April 29, 2014
Following an emotional press conference from Silver, former Suns guards Kevin Johnson and Steve Nash spoke out on behalf of the players’ association.
“I hope that every bigot in this country sees what happened to Mr. Sterling and recognizes that if he can fall, so can you.” -Kevin Johnson
— Ted Nguyen (@TedNguyen) April 29, 2014
Kevin Johnson: “Adam Silver is not only the owner’s commissioner, he’s the player’s commissioner.”
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 29, 2014
Steve Nash thanks Commisioner Silver for “quick, unequivocal and decisive” move in banning Donald Sterling for life.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) April 29, 2014