Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Friday that he backed the NBA’s decision to ban Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the league, saying that his racist remarks hurt the city’s reputation.
Garcetti fully endorsed NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s effort to force Sterling to sell the team. Despite Sterling’s remarks, Garcetti said he is “proud of my city.”
“He is one kind of person in Los Angeles who took a reputation of a city and dragged it down with him,” the mayor said in an interview with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos. “So I hope that we will see a transition and we’re here to help the NBA and to advise Mr. Sterling to do the right thing and to help that happen.”
Garcetti said he will be involved in helping the team and the league as it begins the process of finding new ownership for the club. He also expressed hope that Sterling would not fight Silver’s decision.
“I think that the cloud over the Clippers is almost too much to bear during the playoffs, let alone if this is to go on for a long time,” he said.
Celebrities, media personalities and business figures have expressed interest in buying the team. Oprah Winfrey is teaming with media magnate David Geffen and Oracle founder Larry Ellison to submit a bid. Boxers Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Osar De La Hoya have also said they would like to own part or all of the team.
Garcetti doesn’t have a favorite, but says he wants an ownership that reflects the diversity of his city.
“I hope that we have an ownership team that represents the best values of Los Angeles, and represents the kind of picture of LA,” he said. “But I’m agnostic as to who that is.”
Catch the full interview Tuesday, May 6, 10 p.m. est.