And so it begins.
The NBA has taken the 1st official steps to begin the process of removing Donald Sterling as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The league has filed official "Charges" stating Sterling has "engaged in conduct that has damaged and continues to damage the NBA and it's teams".
We could go on and on about the various groups the highly controversial owner has managed to find a way to insult over the past month, but it would take a little longer than we have to write this.
The leagues press release states Sterling has until May 27th to respond to the charges and a hearing to end his ownership will happen June 3rd.
And yes, Sterling has already said he'll fight any and all comers and is prepared to have his lawyers do what he believes necessary.
Unfortunately, this is the outcome most expected. Sadly this may get uglier...much uglier, before it gets resolved.
Kinda like this...
((HT: ABC7 Los Angeles))
Here is the release in full from the NBA:
The NBA initiated a charge today 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.
1815 UPDATE: Leaving no opportunity to waste, Shelly Sterling's attorney Pierce O'Donnell released a statement as well...
Shelly Sterling's lawyer, Pierce O'Donnell, released a statement on Monday.
"We have just received the voluminous charges and are beginning the process of carefully reviewing them," O'Donnell said. "Based on our initial assessment, we continue to believe there is no lawful basis for stripping Shelly Sterling of her 50 percent ownership interest in the Clippers. She is the innocent estranged spouse. We also continue to hope that we can resolve this dispute with the NBA for the good of all constituencies."