Donald Sterling, the owner the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Clippers, has withdrawn his support of a deal to sell the franchise.
Sterling issued a statement Monday saying he will proceed with a $1 billion lawsuit accusing the NBA of violating his rights after Commissioner Adam Silver imposed a lifetime ban on him and fined him $2.5 million over racist remarks. His attorney said Sterling changed his mind after learning the league would not lift the ban and withdraw the fine even if it approved the deal to sell the Clippers.
In his statement, Sterling acknowledged that while his “position may not be popular, I believe my rights to privacy and the preservation of my rights to due process should not be trampled.”
After Silver announced he would urge the NBA’s other 29 franchise owners to force Sterling to sell the Clippers, Sterling’s estranged wife Shelly arranged a deal to sell the franchise to former Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion.
The 80-year-old Sterling filed the lawsuit against the NBA after the deal was reached, but later announced he would sign the deal and drop the suit.