L.A. Council backs ban of Donald Sterling, asks Times to yank his ads

<i>This post has been updated, as indicated below.</i>

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to back the NBA’s decision to ban Clippers owner Donald Sterling from games and practices for life, condemning racist remarks attributed to Sterling and demanding a personal apology to Magic Johnson and all Angelenos.

The resolution, presented by Councilman Bernard C. Parks, also asked The Times and other newspapers to stop running ads for Sterling’s real estate empire and “alleged civic activities.” The Times had no immediate comment on the request to drop Sterling’s advertisements.

[Updated 1:21 p.m. PDT April 29: In an emailed statement, Times spokeswoman Nancy Sullivan said: “The Los Angeles Times understands and shares the outrage surrounding the unconscionable racist comments the NBA has confirmed were made by Donald Sterling. We review the content of any advertising we accept to ensure our standards and guidelines are followed. The Times also reserves the right to refuse any advertising submitted for publication in our sole discretion.”]

In a news conference before the Tuesday vote, Parks said the city should “go on record to condemn the statements made by Mr. Sterling and clearly separate itself from those statements.”

He added that “at the minimum, Mr. Sterling owes the city of Los Angeles a personal apology.”


An amendment to the resolution by Council President Herb Wesson also requested that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver come to Los Angeles, speak with city officials and “come up with a mechanism to address the community.”

Council members chimed in to condemn the remarks attributed to Sterling. “His comments have no place in basketball or in our community,” Councilman Curren Price said.

The original version of Parks’ resolution also called for Silver to take “appropriate censorship actions” against Sterling. Before the vote, Silver announced that Sterling had been banned for life from any association with the Clippers or the NBA and would have to pay a $2.5 million fine.

When Parks learned of the ban during the meeting, he asked to alter his resolution to “strongly endorse” the action announced by Silver. Mayor Eric Garcetti earlier said he wanted “fast action and strong action” by the NBA in light of the comments attributed to Sterling.

“This isn’t just about tainting the Los Angeles Clippers, this taints the entire National Basketball Association,” Garcetti said Monday.

The resolution also called on the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP to revoke its nomination of Sterling for the NAACP Humanitarian Award. The award has already been withdrawn after the remarks attributed to Sterling were released by celebrity news website TMZ last week. As the scandal unfolded in recent days, the Los Angeles chapter has faced questions about its longtime association with Sterling.

“I don’t know if they looked as closely as is being scrutinized now,” Parks said. “But I think it’s been resolved.”

In that recording, a man said to be Sterling argues with a woman over her Instagram photos alongside Magic Johnson, saying, “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black
people.” An attorney for the woman identified by TMZ, V. Stiviano, said the recording was authentic. On Tuesday, Silver also confirmed that the voice was Sterling’s.

Twitter: @latimesemily