Obama says NBA right to ban Clippers owner: spokesman

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama has voiced his support for the NBA's decision to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life for making racist remarks, the White House spokesman said Wednesday.

Mr Obama, an avid basketball fan and recreational player, "believes the NBA has done the right thing," Jay Carney told reporters.

On Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from professional basketball for life and urged the league's other owners to force the real estate tycoon to sell the Clippers.

Mr Sterling was caught on tape telling his much-younger girlfriend that he did not want her associating with black people or attending Clippers games with black friends.

"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?" Mr Sterling says in the recording, made public by celebrity news website TMZ.

"The little I ask you is not to promote it... and not to bring them to my games."

Mr Sterling has yet to comment publicly about the recordings.