By Steve Patterson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Local basketball fans gathered to watch the NBA punish Donald Sterling and denounce his racist comments in the strongest terms.
“I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the clippers organization or the NBA,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.
A lifetime ban, a maximum fine, the promise of a forced sale.
Powerful words from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver – but are they fair?
We watched the dramatic announcement from this West Philadelphia barbershop where the fallout caused more debate than you might think.
“I don’t think it was harsh. I think he deserved it,” said barber Sean Robinson.
Robinson says Silver took the appropriate action and no one with hatred like that should own an NBA team period.
“There is a lack of respect, lack of respect for the league, for the players, for himself,” Robinson said.
“I think it’s a little unfair,” said fellow barber Suran Cassell.
Cassell believes what’s said behind closed doors shouldn’t weigh so heavily on business.
“Really there shouldn’t be a punishment at all,” Cassell said.
“It’s going to be very difficult to strip away that man’s right to own a team,” said Temple coaching legend John Chaney.
Chaney says stiff penalties should be imposed on Sterling, but isn’t convinced about what happens next.
“Racists can own teams,” he said.
Earlier we spoke former Philadelphia Eagle Ike Reese, now on SportsRadio 94 WIP, who predicted almost everything Silver said and called it fair.
“I’d like to see Sterling banned from ever being a part of the NBA again. Take him out of the picture, that would be satisfying,” Reese said.
A heavy penalty for slimy speech, but one patron says pay attention to the conversation, not the action.
“It’s another opportunity for America to be reminded that racism is still alive and we need to come together to heal.”
Philadelphia 76ers Managing Owner Josh Harris released the following statement on Tuesday:
“The Philadelphia 76ers completely support NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. As I have previously stated, there is no place for any type of discrimination in our society, and those hurtful and ignorant comments are contrary to the core values and beliefs of our ownership group and organization.”
U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) also released a statement on Donald Sterling’s ban from the NBA:
“The NBA made the right decision today in banning Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fining him the maximum amount allowable under its bylaws,” Senator Casey said. “Racism has no place in our society and should not be tolerated in sports or any other arena. The game of basketball has played an important role in bringing together people of all races and backgrounds. I urge all NBA owners to vote in favor of forcing Mr. Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.”
COMPLETE COVERAGE FROM CBS LOS ANGELES: The Donald Sterling Controversy