Donald Sterling, the owner of Los Angeles Clippers, who had been at the receiving end of criticism for his racist comments made to a girlfriend, has reportedly agreed to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft Corp. Apparently, Shelley Sterling, Donald’s wife for over five decades, arranged the sale.
Criticisms and actions against Donald Sterling’s racist comments ranged from condemnation from President Barack Obama and to the NBA banning Sterling from the league for life. The comments were made by Donald Sterling to a girlfriend who made a private recording of Sterling telling her not to bring blacks with her and that he did not appreciate that she posted pictures of herself with NBA star Magic Johnson. The comments were first made public by celebrity gossip website TMZ.com.
After the row over his racist comments happened, Sterling said on a television interview with CNN about Magic Johnson, while apologizing for his controversial comments, “What kind of a guy goes to every city, he has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV …”
Bloomberg News reported that Shelley Sterling has already sued the woman to whom Donald had made the controversial comments, and asked for a return of valuables including a $1.8 million duplex, two Bentleys, a Ferrari and a Range Rover as well as $240,000 that came for her upkeep from community property.
The $2 billion bid made by Ballmer for purchasing LA Clippers is the second-highest ever paid for buying a franchise in a U.S. sports league. In 2012, Guggenheim Partners paid $2.15 billion for baseball team Los Angeles Dodgers.
Sterling had bought the Clippers in 1981 when it was called the San Diego Clippers. He has filed a lawsuit against the NBA claiming that the association had infringed his rights by banning him for life and fining him $2.5 million and also taking steps to remove him from ownership of his team based only on an illegally recorded conversation.
It is not known whether Sterling would continue to pursue his claims, though further pursuit would obviously drag his wife and Ballmer into court once the sale is made.
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