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Sterling: I Won't Pay the NBA's $2.5 Mil Fine

A letter from the embattled Clippers owner also threatens to sue the league.

A lawyer hired by embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling claims in a letter sent to the NBA that Sterling has done nothing wrong and won't pay a $2.5 million fine levied after his secretly recorded racist comments were made public, it was reported today.

The letter from attorney Maxwell Blecher to NBA Executive Vice President and General Counsel Rick Buchanan also threatens a lawsuit against the league, according to Sports Illustrated and ESPN, which cited sources they did not name.

The letter claims Sterling has not violated the NBA's constitution, which allows for an owner to be forced to sell a team if three-quarters of the league's owners agree, and contends that the 80-year-old real estate investor was denied due process when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned him from the league for life and ordered him to pay a $2.5 million fine just four days after the leaded audio recording was made public.

There was no immediate response from the NBA.

On the recording, Sterling chastised frequent courtside companion V. Stiviano for appearing in photographs with black people -- including Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson -- and bringing them to Clippers games.

Sterling subsequently told CNN's Anderson Cooper in a televised interview that he was not a racist and that he had been "baited" into making the comments. He also told Cooper that Johnson was a poor role model because he was promiscuous, had contracted the virus that causes AIDS and has not, in Sterling's opinion, done much for black people.

Sterling bought the Clippers in 1981 for $12.5 million, but the team recently was valued by Forbes around $575 million, making it the league's 13th most valuable.

--City News Service


all-c-ing-eye May 18, 2014 at 04:00 PM
I thought the LA Clippers were a string of barber shops in the LA area.
Joker Joe May 19, 2014 at 11:10 AM
If you don't like black men with your girl friend, you are in trouble. Wonder what Obama has to say???
RAYSAY May 19, 2014 at 06:41 PM
NBA Commissioner needs to step down, for weakness in succumbing to this circus of who can flip out the 'race card' quicker. Bigot or not, Sterling has 1st and 4th Amendment rights that have been grossly violated. We are all in trouble, black or white, if this nonsense is allow to continue to fruition. What's next mandatory microphones in the players locker rooms; of course the uproar would be hypocritically loud; since nice things about whites from black players may sometimes be lacking. if these players refuse to play for the Clippers, they should be banned for breach of contract, then they can get a actual job doing whatever over-height black men are needed for, with a lot less pay, and probably what they are really worth in the real world
martha rourke May 19, 2014 at 10:46 PM
BRAVO TO"RAYSAY"... at last someone with excellent common sense views. Let's keep this going, everyone, black, pink, blue or white, needs to observe our rights to say what we want, without the stupid recriminations of "racist" labeling.... who cares, for heaven's sake. It's human nature to pick on another's weak points... that's the definition of gossip...look at our predilection for tell-all magazines. Look what celebrities do to themselves to become famous... The more outrageous the incident....well you get the idea... how did Marilyn Monroe become the glamour icon of the world? Hugh Grant and his escapade, launching him into his viable career... etc,etc... We want Sterling to become the standard bearer for our human right to say and BE who we are... honest, not phony, mistake makers, with opinions that can withstand ridicule and/or dissent... controversy, after all, is what shapes our skills, our society, our world..

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