Silver also called on the other NBA owners to force the 80-year-old Sterling to sell the team, and they almost unanimously spoke out in support. Sterling will be forced to sell the team he's owned since 1981 if three-fourths of the owners agree on it.
The penalty, one of the harshest in the history of American sports, came after an audiotape surfaced over the weekend of an argument between Sterling and his girlfriend in which he told her he didn't want her showing up to Clippers games with black people or posting photos on Instagram with them. Silver said Sterling had confirmed that he was the person on the recording.
There was widespread praise across the NBA for Silver's action, including from the Clippers franchise itself, team coach Doc Rivers, and the players. The NBA players' union officials revealed that if the punishment hadn't included a mandate for Sterling to sell the team, players were considering a boycott of playoff games.
In a cathartic playoff game last night, the Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors 113-103 to take a 3 games to 2 playoff series lead.