Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said he backs the decision by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the organization for life for making racist remarks.
The league also is imposing a $2.5 million fine against Sterling, who has been under fire after an audio recording released last week captured him telling a woman not to bring black men to Clippers games. Most NBA players are black.
Taylor said the punishment shows that people need to be held accountable for their words, especially now that the rules of communication have changed.
"All of us need to be aware of that we may say something that we think is private, but it can be very hurtful, and therefore, if we're owners of the NBA, or players in the NBA, or ordinary citizens, we have to be held responsible for it."
As chairman of the NBA's Board of Governors, Taylor said he will head a committee that is already working to change the team's ownership to another party, possibly by force.
“The hurt will be kind of what you call internal -- the pride hurt, the community hurt, and how people look at him.”Glen Taylor
Taylor acknowledges that making Sterling sell the team for hundreds of millions of dollars in profit may not seem like punishment, but he said Sterling will still feel the sting of being rejected by his peers.
"The hurt will be kind of what you call internal -- the pride hurt, the community hurt, and how people look at him," Taylor said. "It's not financially. It has to do with a person's life."
A three-fourths vote of NBA owners is needed to force Sterling to sell the team. But Taylor said he would prefer not to have it come to a vote, and hopes members of the board can persuade Sterling to sell the team.