Credit: KFI's Eric Leonard
LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles City Council moved Tuesday to censure Donald Sterling, whose racist remarks led the NBA to ban the Clippers owner for life from team and league activities.
On a unanimous vote, the council approved a motion that denounces the statements and demands that Sterling apologize to Angelenos and Earvin ``Magic'' Johnson, an ``iconic, national figure'' who was a target of some of the remarks.
Council President Herb Wesson noted he personally would not want the proposed apology, and suspects Johnson also would not.
With Los Angeles a city that prides itself on its diversity, ``this is the worst city in the world for this to be happening,'' said Councilman Paul Koretz.
He added the team should be thought of as separate from Sterling.
``I'm a big Clippers fan,'' he said. ``They always, somehow when they put together a great team, find a way never to get too far. This is sadly the worst example of that.''
Councilman Bernard Parks, who introduced the motion, said during a morning news conference that the city has a ``long-standing tradition'' of fighting against racial discrimination.
The motion reflects the city's desire to ``condemn the statements made by Mr. Sterling and clearly separate itself from those statements,'' Parks said.
Prior to the vote, Parks told his colleagues that the issue is ``very delicate'' for the city of Los Angeles.
``We have seen several explosions in the city when insensitivities have come about,'' he said.
Parks' motion called the remarks ``very offensive,'' and said they are ``completely inconsistent with United States Human Rights Laws, the long-standing positions of the City Council, the diversity of our community, the fan base of the Clippers and the very high percentage of minorities who worked for and are working for the National Basketball Association.''
'`These comments, actions and statements have no place in today's society,'' the motion states.
The motion calls on the council to ``condemn'' the statements allegedly made by Sterling and demand ``a personal apology to the entire Los Angeles community.''
It also calls on the Los Angeles NAACP to revoke its nomination of Sterling for a humanitarian award and asks the Los Angeles Times to consider pulling Sterling's weekly ads promoting ``his commercial real estate empire and alleged civic activities.''
On Monday, City Council President Herb Wesson sent a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, asking him to fund a third-party inquiry into whether the Clippers, under Sterling's leadership, violated laws aimed at shielding employees from racial discrimination.
``As an owner, Mr. Sterling has exercised absolute control over his franchise,'' Wesson wrote in a letter to Silver, dated Sunday. ``It has now become imperative to look into how his attitudes on race have governed his leadership of his franchise.''
After the council's vote, several members joined a news conference by Mayor Eric Garcetti and current and former NBA players outside City Hall to hail the league's decision to ban Sterling for life. They also urged fans to continue supporting Clippers players.
The team is scheduled to take on the Golden State Warriors at 7:30 p.m. in game five of their playoff series at Staples Center. The series is tied 2-2.