The National Basketball Association will move quickly in its investigation of an audio recording of racist comments allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, Commissioner Adam Silver said at a news conference Saturday night.
“The audio recording posted by TMZ is truly offensive and disturbing, and we intend to get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible," Silver said.
The Clippers released a statement Saturday questioning the legitimacy of the audio recording released by TMZ. The recording sparked an uproar in the league, but also among fans on social media, where the hashtags #DonaldSterling and #BoycottClippers were trending nationally.
Sterling has agreed not to attend the Clippers' Game Four against the Golden State Warriors Sunday, Silver said.
The commissioner said he has spoken with Clippers Coach Doc Rivers and point guard Chris Paul, who is also president of the National Basketball Players Association.
“I personally think the situation is most unfair to the Clippers’ players and coaches who have to deal with this distraction in the middle of their own highly competitive playoff series," Silver said.
The commissioner added that he was not prepared to discuss how the league might sanction Sterling.
“All members of the NBA family should be afforded due process and a fair opportunity to present their side of any controversy, which is why I’m not yet prepared to discuss any potential sanctions against Donald Sterling," said Silver.
"We will, however, move extraordinary quickly in our investigation.”