Banned NBA owner Donald Sterling has signed over the Los Angeles Clippers to his wife Shelly according to ESPN on Friday. By signing over full control of the team, Sterling gives his wife full control in negotiating a forced sale of the team. Sterling seems to be voluntarily giving up his ownership after some deep thought.
Shelly Sterling is half owner of the franchise and felt it unfair that she be punished because of the racial remarks made by her husband that resulted in NBA commissioner Adam Silver banning the Clippers owner from NBA games and the league. Though Shelly Sterling’s lawyers have made it clear that she intends to keep her 50 percent interest in the team, she also would like to resolve the situation as soon as possible.
In an interview with Barbara Walters, Mrs. Sterling said she did not share the same racial bigotry of her husband and hinted at Sterling suffering from mental health. She felt his mistakes should have no bearing on her partial ownership of the team, but NBA rules will make it hard for Shelly to take over full ownership of the team.
On Monday, the NBA charged Sterling with damaging the league with his racist comments that sparked much dialogue and debate throughout the league and the nation as racial relations became a major focal point that overshadowed the early rounds of the NBA playoffs. The league set a hearing for June 3 to determine the future of Sterling’s ownership of the Clippers via a vote by other team owners.
Sterling initially had five business days to respond to the charges and has appeared to do so by signing over full control of the sale of the team to his wife. Sterling’s lawyer, Max Blecher, first responded to the charges by asking for a three month delay which was turned down by the league. The NBA has not responded to whether or not they will accept the arrangement made by Sterling. But it does sound like all sides are content on settling this matter as soon as possible.