Clipper’s Owner Donald Sterling Given Lifetime Ban, $2.5 Million Dollar Fine for Free Speech

L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling has reportedly been given a lifetime ban from the NBA, Tuesday. NBA commissioner Adam Silver gave the announcement at a news conference in New York City.

It was over the weekend when Sterling became the focus of a firestorm after racist remarks were made to his girlfriend, identified as V. Stiviano, in a private conversation. That conversation was recorded and includes an argument over Instagram photos and Stiviano taking black friends to Clippers’ games.

In addition to the lifetime ban, Sterling also fined $2.5 million.

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Here is the full recorded conversation:

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According to, Stiviano has been recording conversations at Sterling’s request.

Meanwhile, Sterling is not a single man. He is married, even though the conversation was recorded by his mistress. According to the CBS station in Los Angeles, Rochelle Sterling is suing Stiviano for a return of all property she has received from Donald Sterling.

“The suit filed by Rochelle Sterling also alleged that the woman, identified in court documents only as V. Stiviano, was also given lavish gifts by Donald Sterling, including property and cash.

Rochelle Sterling accuses Stiviano as being the type of woman who ‘engages in conduct designed to target, befriend, seduce and then … receives as gifts transfers of wealth from older men whom she targets for such purposes.’”

This, of course, raises the question of whether or not freedom of speech is protected speech. Regardless of how insensitive, racist or inappropriate the comments may be, should someone be fined $2.5 million dollars for their speech?

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