*The NBA has charged Donald Sterling with damaging the league and its teams and set a hearing for June 3, after which owners could vote to terminate his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The league also said the banned owner has engaged in other conduct that has impaired its relationship with fans and merchandising partners, reports ESPN.com.
“All of these acts provide grounds for termination under several provisions of the NBA constitution and related agreements,” the league said in a statement.
Sterling was banned for life and fined $2.5 million by commissioner Adam Silver after the release of a recording in which he made racist remarks. He has until May 27 to respond to the charge. He also has the right to appear at the hearing and make a presentation to the league’s board of governors.
If three-fourths of the owners vote to sustain the charge, Sterling will be forced to sell the team he has owned since 1981.
Sterling’s lawyer has informed the NBA that Sterling will not be paying the $2.5 million fine. In a letter sent on Sterling’s behalf, antitrust litigator Max Blecher also threatened to sue the league if his client is not afforded due process.
The team owner told female friend, V. Stiviano, not to bring blacks to Clippers games during their conversation that was recorded. Sterling specifically mentioned Magic Johnson, then criticized the NBA Hall of Famer again as a poor role model during a recent interview with CNN.
“Among other things, Mr. Sterling disparaged African-Americans and ‘minorities’; directed a female acquaintance not to associate publicly with African-Americans or to bring African-Americans to Clippers games; and criticized African-Americans for not supporting their communities,” the NBA said.
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