Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 30th 2014 Contents A57
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Not long ago, a pair of
French sports journalists pro-
claimed a historic day at
Augusta National. "For the
first time in history, there are
more journalists than players
at the Masters," one of them
said. How many journalists?
How many players? "None."
Don t look now, but with
the Ryder Cup headed to Paris
in 2018, French golf is on the
Victor Dubuisson won the
Turkish Open last year, earned
his first trip to the Masters
and leads the Ryder Cup
standings. Alexander Levy
won the Volvo China Open
last week, shooting 62 in the
second round and never giving
anyone a serious chance.
They are among five
French-born players to have
won in the last year. The oth-
ers are Julien Quesne (Italian
Open), Gregory Bourdy (Wales
Open) and Raphael Jacquelin
French golf gets a double boost
NEW YORK---Issuing about the
strongest rebuke that he could, NBA
commissioner Adam Silver banned
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald
Sterling for life yesterday for mak-
ing racist comments in a recorded
conversation, the first step toward
forcing a sale of the club and per-
manently removing Sterling from
Silver also fined Sterling US$2.5
million, and again expressed out-
"I fully expect to get the support
I need from the other NBA owners
to remove him," Silver said.
Several owners immediately
chimed in with support of Silver s
decision. Sterling, the league s
longest-tenured owner and someone
with an estimated net worth of about
$2 billion, did not offer any imme-
The penalties, which were
announced only three days after the
scandal broke, are the harshest ever
issued by the league and among the
stiffest punishments ever given to
an owner in professional sports. Sil-
ver said a league investigation found
that Sterling was in fact the person
on the audiotapes that were released
over the weekend and immediately
sent shock waves throughout the
"We stand together in condemn-
ing Mr Sterling s views," Silver said.
"They simply have no place in the
Sterling acknowledged he was the
man on the tape, Silver said.
Sterling still owns the team, but
going forward he is immediately
barred from attending any NBA
games or practices, being present at
any Clippers office or facility, par-
ticipating in any business or player
personnel decisions involving the
team, or being part of any league
It s unclear how Sterling will
"This league is far bigger than any
one owner, any one coach and any
one player," said Silver, who as com-
missioner has broad powers under
what s typically called the "best
interest of the game" clause of the
But Silver works for the owners,
and he will need 75 percent of them
---if all 30 teams vote, he ll need 23
on his side---to force Sterling out of
the league completely.
The fine will be donated to organ-
isations dedicated to anti-discrim-
ination and tolerance efforts that
will be jointly selected by the NBA
and the Players Association, Silver
After the announcement, the
Clippers Web site had a simple mes-
sage: "We are one," it read.
"We wholeheartedly support and
embrace the decision by the NBA
and Commissioner Adam Silver
today. Now the healing process
begins," the Clippers added in a
The league s investigation started
Saturday and players immediately
began expressing intense displeasure
with the situation, even going so far
as to ask Sacramento Mayor Kevin
Johnson to get involved on behalf
of the players union.
The sanctions came a few hours
before the Clippers were to play
Golden State in Game 5 of a tied-
up Western Conference first-round
"When you get this many Lakers
to stand up for the Clippers, you
know something big is happening
in LA," Los Angeles Mayor Eric
Garcetti said. "We are a single team
here today, a team not only speaking
out for what we re against---racism,
hatred, bigotry, intolerance---but
what we re for. We re for great bas-
Before Silver took the podium,
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban
tweeted out a photo of the NBA
Constitution, saying "It exists for a
Several sponsors either terminated
or suspended their business dealings
with the team on Monday, though
individual deals that some of those
companies have with Clippers stars
like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will
continue and were not affected.
Still, it was a clear statement that
companies, like just about everyone
inside the league, were outraged.
"Commissioner Silver showed
great leadership in banning LA Clip-
pers owner Donald Sterling for life,"
Magic Johnson, who was referenced
on the taped conversation involving
Sterling, tweeted shortly after the
league s decision was announced.
Johnson s role on the tape
stemmed from Sterling s female
companion apparently posting a
photo of her and the Hall of Fame
player on her Instagram account.
That photo has since been deleted,
but raised Sterling s ire nonetheless.
"It bothers me a lot that you want
to broadcast that you re associating
with black people. Do you have to?"
Sterling asks the woman on the tape.
The issues raised when the tapes
were released over the weekend rep-
resent just another chapter in Ster-
ling s long history of being at the
center of controversy.
In the past, he s faced extensive
federal charges of civil rights viola-
tions and racial discrimination in
his business dealings, and some of
his race-related statements would
be described as shocking.
He has also been sued in the past
for sexual harassment by former
employees, and even the woman
who goes by the name "V Stiviano"
---purportedly the female voice on
the tapes at the centre of this scandal
---describes Sterling in court docu-
ments as a man "with a big toothy
grin brandishing his sexual prowess
in the faces of the Paparazzi and
caring less what anyone else thought,
the least of which, his own wife."
Stiviano is being sued by Rochelle
Sterling, who is seeking to reclaim
at least US$1.8 million in cash and
gifts that her husband allegedly pro-
vided the woman.
Silver said when he first heard the
audio, he hoped it had been altered
or was fake---but also said that from
his 20-year relationship with Ster-
ling, he suspected the voice was his.
"This has been a painful moment,"
Silver said, "for all members of the
NBA family." (AP)
NBA bans Sterling for life
In this December 19, 2010, file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, right, and V Stiviano watch the
Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason match in Los Angeles. AP PHOTOS
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, left, shakes hands with a fan after Game 4
of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series between the Golden
State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
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