30 Apr 2014

LA Clippers owner banned for life

9:39 am on 30 April 2014

The owner of the Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team has been banned from the National Basketball Association for life after a recording emerged of him making racist remarks.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Donald Sterling would be forced to sell his interest in the team, the BBC reports.

And the league will fine him $US 2.5 million the maximum allowed.

Mr Sterling was recorded asking a woman not to associate in public with black people nor bring them to games.

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Photo: AFP

He later said the recording "does not reflect his views".

In a news conference on Tuesday, Mr Silver told reporters that Mr Sterling's "hateful opinions... simply have no place in the NBA".

Mr Silver said Mr Sterling would be banned from participating in all team business, as well as attending any NBA practices or games.

The fine will be donated to organisations focused on combating racism, he said.

And Mr Silver said he would urge the NBA's board of governors to force Mr Sterling to sell his stake in the team, which he purchased in 1981.

It is considered the harshest punishment ever meted out by the NBA.