LA Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling wants to maintain ownership
As the NBA attempts to push Clippers owner Donald Sterling out of the league for racist comments he made, his wife and co-owner, Shelly Sterling says she is legally entitled to maintain ownership of the team.
Penny and Phil discussed this with KFWB Legal Analyst Royal Oakes:
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling said in remarks published today that she believes she is legally entitled to maintain ownership of the team and will attempt to do so even as the NBA pushes to remove her husband from the team he has owned for 33 years.
Sterling, in remarks reported in the Los Angeles Times, described her long tenure as a “die-hard” fan of the Clippers and said she believes the sanctions against Donald Sterling, including a lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine, do not apply to “me or my family.”
Shelly Sterling’s position presents a “wild card” for the pro basketball league as it faces its biggest crisis in memory, a league official who declined to be named told The Times. Her intention to hold on to the team is a wrinkle apparently not contemplated by NBA officials when they moved ten days ago to strip her estranged husband of ownership.
The league moved against Donald Sterling after the website TMZ released a recording in which Sterling told a frequent courtside companion that he did not want to see her at Clippers games with black people. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver responded with the fine, lifetime ban and call for the league’s 29 other owners to vote to force Sterling to sell the team.
Players, fans and other owners have signaled they would like to see a fresh start for the Los Angeles franchise, according to The Times. Broadcaster Ralph Lawler, the Clippers’ longest-serving employee, told the newspaper that Shelly Sterling’s plan to keep the team was understandable but that others in the organization were ready to move on.
“I think in the eyes of the players and the coaching staff and the basketball staff, the page has been turned, and I think it would be difficult to turn it back,” Lawler said.