LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Saying the public’s trust in the NBA has been eroded
by racist remarks allegedly voiced by Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the
president of the Los Angeles City Council called today for an independent
review of Sterling’s treatment of his employees.
Council President Herb Wesson urged NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to
initiate and fund a third-party inquiry into whether the Clippers, under
Sterling’s leadership, violated laws aimed at shielding employees from racial
“As an owner, Mr. Sterling has exercised absolute control over his
franchise,” Wesson wrote in a letter to Silver, dated Sunday. “It has now
become imperative to look into how his attitudes on race have governed his
leadership of his franchise.”
The NBA, which is conducting its own investigation into Sterling, is
expected to make an announcement about it Tuesday, according league spokesman
But Wesson said in order to avoid a conflict of interest, a review
should be conducted by someone outside the league, such as state Attorney
General Kamala Harris.
Given the lack of any evidence the league had previously looked into
long-running allegations that racially discriminatory attitudes have guided
Sterling’s leadership of the team, the public’s trust in the NBA’s ability to
address this matter “has come into doubt,” Wesson said.
Wesson asked that Silver disclose the scope of the NBA’s ongoing
investigation and the options and sanctions available to the league. He also
asked the league to reveal its plans for how it would “police” its
He also invited the commissioner to visit Los Angeles to meet with the
City Council, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the public “to help rebuild confidence
in the NBA’s leadership.”
The city of Los Angeles, along with other cities that host NBA teams,
“have to varying degrees provided public support for NBA franchises, and have
been partners in the success of the NBA,” Wesson said.
The council president’s request came the same day as Sacramento Mayor
Kevin Johnson, working on behalf of the National Basketball Players
Association, urged Silver to ban Sterling from attending future playoff games
this season and exact the harshest possible punishment against the team owner.
The offensive remarks were reported to have been made in a telephone
conversation between Sterling and V. Stiviano, who has been described as his
one-time girlfriend. The man reported to have been Sterling castigates Stiviano
for an Instagram picture of her with Dodgers star Matt Kemp and Dodgers part-
owner Earvin “Magic” Johnson and tells her not to bring blacks to “my
Garcetti has labeled the remarks as “despicable.” City Councilman
Bernard Parks said he plans to introduce a resolution condemning the comments
and calling on the NBA to mete out the appropriate punishment to Sterling.