Simon Wiesenthal Center's Dean and Founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier, denounced "the bigoted and racist" remarks made by Jewish LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The Rabbi made his statements in an interview with CNN and released a public statement on Friday.
"The Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance were shocked by racist remarks attributed to Donald Sterling," said Rabbis Hier and Abraham Cooper of the Jewish human rights group. "There is no place in America for such bigoted comments. We fully support the action taken by [NBA] Commissioner Silver," they added.
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies President and CEO Avi Benlolo joined the rabbis in the center's press release, agreeing with the National Basketball Association's lifetime ban on the Clippers owner which was announced last week.
Benlolo added, "FSWC welcomes this responsible decision by the NBA as racism, hatred and bigotry must be denounced."
"These types of comments and attitudes demonstrate the critical need to educate about and advocate for greater tolerance, acceptance and understanding; sadly, they highlight why our work and initiatives like Freedom Day and the Tour for Humanity are so important," he added.
Sterling, the longest-tenured owner of any of the 30 NBA teams, will not be allowed any role in the operations of his team or be able to serve as one of the league's governors, the NBA commissioner announced at a news conference in New York. Sterling was also fined $2.5 million.
The controversy began when the celebrity website TMZ.com released an audio recording with a voice said to be Sterling's criticizing a friend, a model who uses the name V. Stiviano, for associating with "black people."
An investigation into the recording concluded the voice was Sterling's.