Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday joined a group of civic and elected officials opposed to Shelly Sterling continuing as half-owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, even if the NBA strips the other half of the team from her husband, Donald.
FOR THE RECORD
An earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as Nathan Silver.
“We have to make a clean break, I think,” Garcetti said in an impromptu gathering with reporters at City Hall. “It’s clear to me that we should have ownership that reflects the values of Los Angeles. I think as long as there is ownership in the Sterling family, there are fans, sponsors and players who will stay away.”
The mayor’s comments came a day after City Council President Herb Wesson and Councilman Bernard C. Parks said Shelly Sterling should join her husband in selling the Clippers. Steve Soboroff, a businessman and head of the Police Commission, also said Los Angeles would not settle for any Sterling remaining with the Clippers.
A furor erupted two weeks ago when celebrity news and gossip website TMZ released an audiotape in which Donald Sterling told a frequent courtside guest that she should not bring black people to the games. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver then banned Sterling from the NBA, fined him $2.5 million and began proceedings to bounce him from the team he has owned for 33 years.
Shelly Sterling, 79, has taken steps to separate herself from her husband, who is 80. She has said she did not condone his statements and agreed with the NBA commissioner's actions. She said through her lawyer this week that she should be allowed to keep her 50% interest in the team, which some have valued at more than $1 billion, for the rest of her life.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times