336. Donald Sterling: The Controversial Billionaire

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Donald Sterling is an American businessman who gained much of his wealth during the real estate boom in California many years ago. He is also the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, a professional basketball team of the National Basketball Association. Sterling has owned the Clippers since buying the team in 1981. Although Sterling is a very successful and rich man, his team has seen very little success in the NBA over the years. In recent years, the Clippers have made some strides in the league, having made the playoffs every year since 2011.

Sterling was recently in the news for a very different reason, though. On April 25, 2014, a controversial news and entertainment show aired a recorded conversation between Sterling and a female friend, where Sterling is heard making racial comments about some of her black friends. Sterling is not kind in his description of these friends. He said he did not want her bringing any black people to his Clippers games because he did not want her to be seen publicly with them.

Sterling's rant gained international attention. The NBA is made up of more than 90 percent black players, so many people questioned how Sterling could feel this way about many of his own employees. His comments created an immediate backlash from the black community and from Americans as a whole. He was under pressure from the NBA to sell the team after many black people commented that they no longer would attend his games.

The NBA has issued a lifetime ban against Sterling, which effectively prohibits him from entering any arena to view a basketball game for the rest of his life. Sterling challenged the ban, and refused to sell the team.

          

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