One of the 29 NBA team owners who will decide whether Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling will be forced to sell the team says he believes the vote will be unanimous.
“The owners I know are all color blind and they found that this behavior was outrageous, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t a unanimous vote,” Sacramento Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive said today on “Good Morning America.” “I would be very surprised if that was not the case.”
Sterling’s courtside seat was noticeably empty Tuesday night as the Clippers defeated the Golden State Warriors to take a 3-2 lead in the playoffs series.
“The team is having its best run ever and he’s not going to be able to watch that,” Ranadive said. “He would be the most scorned man in the stands, so I think this is the time to step up and do the right thing.”
A two-thirds vote in favor of forcing Sterling to sell the team is needed by Ranadive and his fellow owners. Sterling, who has owned the team since 1991, was given a lifetime ban and a fine of $2.5 million by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after Sterling was recorded making racist comments about African-Americans.
The woman who recorded the comments that have ended Sterling’s NBA career, Vanessa Stiviano, broke her silence for the first time overnight in a rant captured on camera in which she declared she was going to run for president.
Earlier Tuesday, while Stiviano, 31, was seen roller skating with an oversized visor covering her face, her attorney released a statement saying she was “very saddened” by the NBA’s decision to ban Sterling for life.
“My client is devastated that this got out,” Stiviano’s attorney, Marc Nehoray, told the Los Angeles Times, adding his client “never wanted any harm to Donald.”
The phone calls recorded a man the NBA deemed to be Sterling telling Stiviano to not post photos with or attend Clippers games with black men, including Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.
Today, Sterling’s fellow owner, Ranadive, said Johnson is just one person that 80-year-old Sterling needs to apologize to.
“What I would say to Mr. Sterling is, Mr. Sterling, do the right thing now,” Ranadive said. “Apologize to Magic Johnson. Apologize to the NBA, fans, the black community, the world at large.”
“Respect the wishes of the NBA. Put the team up for sale. Take some of the profits and donate them to a good cause,” he said.