NBA Commissioner Adam Silver holds a press conference to discuss Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling at the Hilton Hotel on April 29, 2014 in New York City. Silver announced that Sterling will be banned from the NBA for life and will be fined $2.5 million for racist comments released in audio recordings. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA in response to racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation. 

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also says he will try to force a sale of the Clippers and also fined Sterling $2.5 million.

Silver called Sterling's comments and views "deeply offensive and harmful."

Silver did say early in the news conference that the NBA has confirmed that the voice heard in the recordings was that of Sterling. 

Silver said he'd do everything in his power to try to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.  

The commissioner added he has the full support of other NBA owners in making these moves.  

Sterling's problems boiled to the surface after a lengthy recording of him speaking with his girlfriend V. Stiviano came to light.  

At one point Sterling told Stiviano he didn't want her to bring black people to his games.  

About 80 percent of the players in the NBA are African-American. 

Kareem Abdul Jabar and Mayor Kevin Johnson watch Silver's press conference. 

Today's news conference follows comments made by many public figures and members of the media, including Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who spoke out on behalf of the NBA Players Union.

Johnson said today following the NBA's news conference that there is "zero tolerance for institutional racism." 

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says Donald Sterling's lifetime ban from the NBA sends a strong message.

The former NBA point guard was asked to represent the NBA players association in the Sterling matter.  

Johnson says he believes Clippers players deserve a change in ownership so they can play for a team and an owner they can be proud of.  

He says he's proud that the players came together and united behind the fight against such racist comments.  

Johnson says, unfortunately, Sterling's comments show that hatred and bigotry remains in the country, and more work needs to be done to keep such hatred out of society.

Johnson says NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the right decision for everyone involved.

Notable speakers also included Kareem Abdul Jabar and Steve Nash. 

High-profile sponsors like State Farm, CarMax and Mercedes Benz have announced their plans to either end or suspend their sponsorship agreements with the Clippers. 

The LA Clippers have made a statement about the Donald Sterling controversy with three simple words, "We Are One."

The team's website and Twitter page posted the words in white atop a black background.

The change was made just moments after Commissioner Adam Silver's press conference this morning.

The Sacramento Kings joined in the statement by blacking out their official website as well, posting the words with the Clippers, the NBA and the Kings logo.

This is not the first time Sterling has been the subject of controversy.  

In 2009, he was fined more than $2 million in a housing discrimination lawsuit.  

In 2011, he won a lawsuit filed by former Clippers GM Elgin Baylor, who accused the team of firing him based on age.  

Sterling also previously settled with a former employee who accused him of sexual harassment. He has owned the Clippers since 1981.

WATCH: Adam Silver's press conference regarding Sterling

WATCH: Kevin Johnson's Response to Sterling's Lifetime Ban