Oklahoma City Thunder respond to Donald Sterling ban
By Christine VanTimmeren
The Oklahoma City Thunder's Chairman has responded to the NBA's ban of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling after he admitted to making racists remarks that were recorded.In a press conference Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver revealed Sterling had been banned for life and fined $2.5 million for racist remarks. Silver also said he would urge the board of governors of the Clippers to encourage Sterling to sell the team.As the news was released, NBA team owners and managers responded to the swift action taking by the commissioner. That includes Oklahoma City Thunder Chairman Clayton I. Bennett who released this statement:"The Oklahoma City Thunder strongly supports the decisive action taken today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Ours is a league of inclusion, tolerance and fairness. The Thunder organization will continue to work to foster the tenets of diversity and respect, and build on that standard moving forward."Thunder fans and the OKC chapter of the NAACP also reacted to the NBA's decision.One fan said, "I think it was a great decision by Silver. Finally to put the hammer down and be willing to fix something."Fans say it's disappointing to see such blatant racism from anyone, let alone the owner of an NBA team."It was heartbreaking to hear that, to hear it out loud. It made me sick," a Thunder fan said.Garland Pruitt, President of the NAACP Oklahoma City chapter said," I thank God that somebody has intervened and he's been banned for life. It's needed. It's necessary."Pruitt says this is a reminder that racism is alive and well in our state and across the country. He add, it's important, when a racial incident gets national attention, that something is done about it."If we don't confront these situations, if we don't address the attitude and the arrogance of those types of behaviors, we're just as guilty as they are. So it's mandatory that someone take a stand and say enough is enough," Pruitt said.In a national statement, the CEO of the NAACP says Mr. Sterling will not be honored at the upcoming event in Los Angeles, as was planned. The organization is also urging the LA chapter to take back the previous award given to Sterling. To see the NAACP's full statement click here.
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