The NBA banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and will force a sale of his team after determining Sterling disparaged blacks on a leaked recording.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also imposed a $2.5 million fine on Sterling. Silver announced the penalties Tuesday at a press conference.
Even before the official statement, TMZ reported that a suspension was coming, saying the “buzz” was that “they will slap Donald with a one year suspension or an indefinite suspension.” TMZ also reported “Sterling will NOT be forced to sell the team.”
TMZ wasn’t the only outlet that flubbed it. NBC News reported in a since-deleted tweet:
NBC then corrected itself on both the suspension and amount of the fine:
Correction: NBA suspends Donald Sterling from NBA activities for life, fines him $2.5 million http://t.co/hePGsqPEuZ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 29, 2014
In a statement a few hours later, NBC said it got its inaccurate information from “high-level NBA sourcing.” On the air, David Gregory said, “Our initial reporting was shy of what Silver ultimately decided.”
TMZ first posted the audio recording that caused all this. The scoop by the entertainment website further established it as a serious source of major stories.
But being first doesn’t always guarantee accuracy, as media organizations know too well.
Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly located the press conference at the Staples Center. It was held in New York.