Donald Sterling has refused to pay a $2.5 million fine imposed by the NBA for making racist comments and revealed plans to sue the association for its decision of banning him for life.
Attorney Maxwell M. Blecher wrote a letter to Richard Buchanan, vice president of the NBA, claiming that Sterling does not warrant “any punishment at all” for making the racist comments, which were recorded in an audio clip and made public last month, USA Today said, citing an unnamed source.
“We reject your demand for payment,” Blecher reportedly wrote in the letter, adding that Sterling had not violated any specific rule in the NBA constitution.
The letter also reportedly threatens the NBA with a lawsuit as Sterling plans to fight for his franchise after NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned the 80-year-old billionaire for life and imposed the fine on April 29 after the audio clip posted by TMZ revealed Sterling telling his friend V. Stiviano not to associate with black people. The deadline to pay the fine passed earlier this week reportedly prompting Sterling to write the letter.
Meanwhile, Silver has reportedly urged other owners to force a sale of the Clippers and, if three-quarters of the other 29 owners agree to Silver’s recommendation, then Sterling will be forced to sell the team, according to NBA rules.
In a recent interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Sterling apologized for making the racist comments, calling them a “terrible mistake,” and said he was not a racist. However, when the subject turned to basketball Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Sterling switched gears and slammed the player for being HIV-positive.