The NBA is charging that banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling tried to cover up his scandal by trying to get former confidant V. Stiviano to say that his racist remarks against African-Americans weren’t his.
According to Monday’s 30-page NBA formal allegation, which was obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Sterling tried to alter Stiviano’s statements in a group effort manufactured by him, his wife Shelly and former Clippers president Andy Roeser.
According to the LA Times, the NBA charges the Sterling-led Clippers organization with "destroying evidence relating to the recording, providing false and misleading information to [Chief NBA Investigator David] Anders in connection with the commissioner's investigation of the recording and issuing a false and misleading public statement on April 26 regarding the authenticity of the TMZ recording."
Despite stories that Sterling and his wife Shelly are estranged, the NBA also provides evidence in the 30-page report that the two are “inextricably intertwined.”
A Sterling associate told the LA Times that the NBA’s new claims are “a smear.”
“The NBA has the recording in full and there has been no destruction or alteration of any evidence,” the Sterling associate told the newspaper. “It’s going to be a non-issue. They are just throwing some mud up against the wall to see what sticks.”
The NBA’s allegation also says that Roeser, acting on Sterling’s orders, commanded an unnamed Clippers employee to delete the notorious racist rant recording from a phone, along with any related text messages.
An NBA owners hearing about Sterling will be held in New York City on June 3, after which the league’s owners will cast a vote. If three-fourths of the owners vote against Sterling, he will be forced to sell the Clippers.
According to ESPN, Sterling has until May 27 to respond to the charge, and he has the right to appear at the hearing and make a presentation in front of the board of governors. If Sterling does not respond by May 27, that will be grounds for termination.
"We know we're doing the right thing, and I know I have the owners behind me," NBA commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN on Tuesday.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)