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Clippers fans react to Donald Sterling's punishment

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Erika Aguilar

First visible presence of LAPD at LA Live 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Erika Aguilar

Some made signs ahead of Tuesday's Clippers game to protest Sterling's continued ownership of the team.

Erika Aguilar

Folks crowd outside the Staples Center Tuesday ahead of Game 5.

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

Darryl Yarbrough, 28, came to L.A. Live to protest at the Clippers game on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Five

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An advertising sign is blacked out as the Golden State Warriors play the Los Angeles Clippers in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals


Basketball fans packed Staples Center last night for the Clippers playoff game against the Golden State Warriors, after what was a chaotic day for the team.

Just that morning, the NBA handed down a stiff penalty on owner Donald Sterling, banning him for life and fining him $2.5 million, the maximum allowed by the league. For many Clipper fans the punishment was seen as a positive moment for the team and the city.

KPCC’s Erika Aguilar spent the day getting some of their reactions.

What did fans at the game think about the sanctions against Sterling?

A handful of people talked about the right to privacy, the right to know whether you're being recorded or not, but a lot more people were just saying that they were happy with Silver's comments and decisions to lay out some really tough sanctions against Sterling: the ban, the fine. Also the commitment that he was going to encourage owners or push him out, to sell the team

Ann Yu came to LA Live after NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the fees and ban against Sterling – to mingle/talk about the decision.

“I think it was very strong. Adam Silver did a great job. I think that’s what everyone was looking for and hopefully that pans out and doesn’t back fire on them," said Yu. 

Yu worries Sterling will hang on to the team as long as he can out of spitefulness because tough sanctions.

Many people made T-shirts condemning Sterling. One said "NBA – No Bigots Allowed." Sam Wright, a Clippers season ticket holder carried a sign that said, “Dear NBA owners, Clippers must have a new owner Vote For Sale.”

“Until that sale happens, until those owners vote on a 75 percent basis to force him to sell, then this wont’ be over. It’s beginning though, it’s a good beginning," said Wright, who almost didn’t come to the game last night, but decided to attend only after Silver made his decision.

Were there other ticket holders who said they were planning to attend no matter what happened to Sterling?

Yes, two college students who bought tickets before news about Sterling broke on Friday. Daniel Davis says he would’ve attended the game either way.

“But it wasn’t to support him. It was to support Doc and support, you know the team. I think Doc Rivers is a great man and I think what he stands for and what he’s about is what makes me want to come to the game," said Davis. 

Davis wore a black T-shirt and shorts like a lot of others. As you know, after the NBA news conference yesterday, the Clippers website went black with the message: “We are one." NBA players over the weekend wore black socks and armbands in protest of Sterling.

One person we heard from today said “this is a good beginning.” He seemed to have wanted more? Did fans say they wanted Sterling out of the NBA team?

Many people thought Sterling should cut all ties to team and to the NBA.

What I heard yesterday afternoon was a collective sigh of relief from fans who didn't have to decide to boycott and give up their tickets, from minorities who were holding their breath and wondering if the NBA would support them. Just from public safety officials who I think were bracing for some serious demonstrations by people who were deeply angry and hurt if they hadn't heard what they were hoping for. 

It will be interesting to see how NBA fans feel at the end of the week or next week, after everyone’s got a chance to catch their breath, digest what all happened and maybe hear about Sterling’s and other NBA owners’ next move.

We also wanted to know what you think about the decision:

 

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