NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – The Donald Sterling controversy has hit a nerve with a majority of Americans.

A new CBS News and New York Times poll released Friday showed many people believe a lifetime ban and fine imposed on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was the right punishment, but the public is more divided on whether Sterling should be forced to sell the team.

READ MORE: Florida House Unanimously Approves School Safety Bill

After the comments were made public about African-Americans, the National Basketball Association banned Sterling for life from attending games and participating in NBA activities. He was also fined $2.5 million.

More than half of those polled (55 percent) think this punishment was about right, although more think it was too hard (25 percent) than too lenient (9 percent).

Black Americans (71 percent) are more likely than whites (52 percent) to feel Sterling’s punishment by the NBA was appropriate.

But there is somewhat less consensus on whether Sterling should be forced to sell the Clippers: 49 percent of Americans think he should, but 40 percent say he shouldn’t.

Opinions on forcing a sale differ considerably by race. Most African Americans (71 percent) think Sterling should be forced to sell, while whites are divided on the issue: 43 percent think he should have to sell, while 44 percent disagree.

CBS News contributed to this report.

READ MORE: Miami Weather: Mix Of Sun & Clouds, Building Easterly Breeze

This poll was conducted by telephone April 30-May 1, 2014 among 1,054 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Media, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

Additional interviews were conducted with African Americans, who had previously completed a survey as part of a random sample, to yield a sample size of 275. 660 whites were interviewed.

The African American and non-African American samples were weighted separately to match their group’s population characteristics such as gender, age, education, region, marital status and phone use based on recent U.S. Census estimates. The samples were then combined and weighted to the total U.S. adult population.

The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. The margin of error for the sample of whites is 5 pts and 8 pts for African Americans. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.



MORE NEWS: Moped Crash On County Line Road Leaves One Dead, One In Critical Condition

[display-posts category=”sports” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]