Months after audio leaked of billionaire Donald Sterling making racist comments about African Americans, his Los Angeles Clippers basketball franchise has been sold to new ownership.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer placed a $2 Billion bid to buy the team after the NBA commissioner banned Sterling for life and forced the sale of the franchise. His bid was finally closed on Tuesday when Sterling’s wife Shelly was giving authority to sell the team.
“I am humbled and honored to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” Ballmer said in a statement released by the team. “Clipper fans are so amazing. They have remained fiercely loyal to our franchise through some extraordinary times. I will be hard core in giving the team, our great coach, staff and players the support they need to do their best work on the court.”
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said that he was “excited” about Ballmer’s purchase of the team and Blake Griffin added that it was a “great day” for the organization, but Sterling is expected to appeal the sale.
Donald Sterling bought the Los Angeles Clippers in 1981 for $12.5 million but he was forced to pass ownership to his estranged wife when his mistress V. Stiviano released private phone conversations between them where he made disparaging comments about Blacks in general, Black athletes and celebrities like Magic Johnson.