If it’s a war you wanted then prepare to strap up. The NBA is officially taking on Donald Sterling and a hearing is scheduled for June 3rd.
Today the NBA sent out a press release that officially stated that the NBA had initiated a charge against Donald Sterling to oust him as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. Here is the entire press release:
The NBA initiated a charge Monday seeking to terminate the ownership of Donald Sterling in the Los Angeles Clippers. If the NBA Board of Governors sustains the charge by a 3/4 vote, all ownership interests in the Clippers will be terminated and the team will be sold to new owners.
The NBA Constitution provides Mr. Sterling with the opportunity to respond to the charge by May 27, as well as the right to appear and make a presentation at a special meeting of the Board of Governors. This hearing, which is planned for June 3, will be presided over by NBA Board of Governors Chairman Glen Taylor, the controlling Governor of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The charge asserts that Mr. Sterling engaged in conduct that has damaged and continues to damage the NBA and its teams. 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.
Mr. Sterling’s actions and positions significantly undermine the NBA’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion; damage the NBA’s relationship with its fans; harm NBA owners, players and Clippers team personnel; and impair the NBA’s relationship with marketing and merchandising partners, as well as with government and community leaders. Mr. Sterling engaged in other misconduct as well, including issuing a false and misleading press statement about this matter.
All of these acts provide grounds for termination under several provisions of the NBA Constitution and related agreements.
While the NBA will likely get a unanimous vote against Sterling, it is unlikely that Sterling will cave in and go quietly into the night. There is a legal battle of epic proportions brewing, one that will likely go down in history as seminal moment for sports leagues and the law community alike.