National Basketball Association players want the “maximum sanction” allowable imposed on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. That’s according to former NBA All-Star and current Sacramento, Calif. Mayor Kevin Johnson, who appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” on Monday.
Johnson announced over the weekend that he would be leading the National Basketball Players Association in “addressing the implications” of racist comments made by Sterling. The comments were recorded and published online on Friday by the website TMZ. Johnson met this weekend with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
“It’s a defining moment in the history of this league,” Johnson told “The Today Show.” “And I am very confident that the commissioner will act in the best interest of the players, the owners, and the league. And feel like the only way to do that is to do the most severe sanctions possible, and I do expect them to do that in short order.”
Johnson suggested it was still unclear whether Silver has the power to force Sterling to give up his team, but made clear the players would support such a move.
“We want to make sure, and I want to be clear, whatever the maximum that’s allowable, is what we want the commissioner to impose,” Johnson said. “If that allows him to force the sale of an owner, if it allows him to determine whether the fitness of this person is intact, [or] something in question. If it doesn’t allow the commissioner to take those acts, it is very clear that all of our players in the league want to explore the option.”