COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - Retired NBA player and South Carolina native, Alex English, had some strong words for Donald Sterling. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned the LA Clippers owner for life for racist comments he made in a conversation with his girlfriend.
"I wish Adam Silver had, without any legal ramifications, had the ability to just kick him out of the league himself,” says English, a former Gamecock.
English, who spent most of his career with the Denver Nuggets, says he never met Sterling, but had heard stories about him and how he ran the Clippers franchise. Sterling bought the team in 1981.
"You hear lots of stories about Mr. Sterling, but now you get the truth. You hear him in his own words, and I think now we've got some, we've got some teeth to bite him with, and I think we should bite him hard."
Silver showed no tolerance for the NBA owner in a press conference Tuesday. He banned Sterling for life from basketball and fined him $2.5 million.
"To hear some of the things that Mr. Sterling said, it was just offensive to me. It should be offensive to all people though, not just African Americans…You've got Venezuelans. You've got Brazilians. You've got other people of color that play in the NBA as well, and if he feels that way he should certainly not be owning an NBA team."
On Sunday, in a sign of solidarity, the Clippers wore their shirts inside-out during pregame warm-ups.
"Show him, in spite of the black eye he has given the league as well as the Clippers, we're above that."
Sterling has not commented publicly on the scandal. Several companies have dropped sponsorship and partnership deals with the Clippers including Adidas, Virgin America and Carmax.
Sports Attorney Quentin Williams released the following statement:
“The penalty imposed by the NBA today, including the potential removal of Donald Sterling as an owner, sends a strong message to the public at large that discriminatory practices by anyone in the NBA family including ownership will not be tolerated. In my opinion this was the right thing to do and I applaud Adam Silver for taking immediate action against Mr. Sterling. From this time forward, everyone in the NBA will be held accountable for behavior that even slightly resembles Mr. Sterling’s actions.”