04/29/2014 02:56 pm ET Updated Apr 29, 2014

NBC, TMZ Get Donald Sterling Story Wrong


Several news outlets got their initial reports about how the NBA would punish racist LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling wrong.

The news and sports worlds spent Tuesday waiting to see what punishment NBA commissioner Adam Silver would hand down after Sterling was caught on tape making racist comments about black people. Just before Silver's 2 PM conference, TMZ—which broke the initial news about the recording—tweeted that the league had suspended Sterling "indefinitely":

Minutes later, NBC News tweeted the same information, adding that Sterling would be fined $5 million. On MSNBC, host Joy Reid said that the network had "confirmed" those details.

However, Silver announced that Sterling had been banned for life, not suspended, and that he had been fined $2.5 million, not $5 million.

NBC News soon issued a correction:

NBC also corrected its reporting on the air. TMZ did not issue a correction right away.

NBC later issued a statement about its mistake: "Prior to the press conference, we had information from our high-level NBA sourcing that proved to be inaccurate. We immediately corrected the error on all platforms of NBC News, including the special report that ran on our air."