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Adidas Reinstates Clippers Deal Now That Don Sterling Is Banned

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LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 25: The Adidas sneaker of Trey Thompkins #9 of the Los Angeles Clippers is shown before a Christmas Day game against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on December 25, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via G | Noah Graham via Getty Images

BERLIN, April 30 (Reuters) - German sportswear firm Adidas has reinstated its partnership with the Los Angeles Clippers after the National Basketball Association banned its owner Donald Sterling from the game for life for racist comments.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on Tuesday Sterling, 80, will be barred from any role in the operations of his franchise or from serving as one of the league's governors.

"We fully support the league's decision. As a long-term partner of the NBA, we are proud that the Commissioner is taking serious action to ensure prejudice is not tolerated in the game," Adidas said in a statement.

Adidas, the world's second biggest sportswear firm, had suspended the Clippers partnership on Tuesday morning after widespread outrage over recorded comments by Stirling criticizing a woman friend for "associating with black people".

The comments drew outrage from players, fans, politicians and commercial sponsors, several of whom said they were cutting ties with the team, even after the NBA moved to expel Sterling.

Adidas does not break down sales by sport but it has just a fraction of the basketball market, which is dominated by U.S. rival Nike. (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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