President Obama believes the NBA did "the right thing" by banning L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life, the White House said on Wednesday.

"The president believes that the NBA has done the right thing, understanding of course that the NBA is the institution that makes the decision in this case," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. "But as both a basketball fan and as, obviously, someone who would be concerned about these issues, as so many of us are, he thinks they did the right thing."


Sterling came under fire after the release of a taped phone conversation in which he appears to admonish his girlfriend for posting pictures with black celebrities — including NBA hall-of-famer Magic Johnson — to her Instagram account. The audio also suggests Sterling demanded his girlfriend not bring any minorities to Clippers games.

On Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that he was banning Sterling from the league for life and fining him $2.5 million. Silver also said he expected other franchise owners to vote to force Sterling to sell the team.

Over the weekend, Obama admonished Sterling's “incredibly offensive racist statements” during a news conference in Malaysia.

“I don’t think I have to interpret those statements for you; they kind of speak for themselves," the president said. "When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything — you just let them talk.”

The president added that Americans needed to guard against the type of racism demonstrated in Sterling's comments.