April 29, 2014 3:40 pm

Steve Nash calls Sterling scandal an opportunity to eradicate racism

Watch above: What Steve Nash thinks of the lifetime ban of L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling

LOS ANGELES – Canadian NBA star Steve Nash praised league commissioner Adam Silver for his decisive response to the controversy involving Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

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Sterling was banned for life and fined US$2.5 million by the NBA on Tuesday for racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation.

Nash, who plays for the rival L.A. Lakers, spoke as a representative of current NBA players at a press conference assembled by Sacramento mayor and National Basketball Players Association adviser Kevin Johnson.

Nash, from Victoria, thanked Silver for “a quick, unequivocal and concise decision made today on behalf of everyone involved in this situation.

“It begs the bigger question: if racism is a learned behaviour, how long will it go on for?” Nash continued. “How long will people be taught to be bigoted, to discriminate and to instill hatred in our communities?

“Let’s hope this is an opportunity for all of us … to help educate and help take one step further to eradicating racism in our communities.”

Toronto Raptors’ owner Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment issued a statement shortly after, saying the company believes Sterling’s comments “have no place in our society or sport.”

“Our organization will always work to contribute to a culture of diversity and acceptance in this league and fully support the actions taken today,” said the statement. “We thank Commissioner Adam Silver, and all of the NBA players, for their leadership on this important issue.”

With files from Global News

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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