donald sterling owns the los angeles clippers. sadly, he also owns anti-black, anti-female and anti-latino worldviews. tmz sports and deadspin.com obtained audio of sterling making various oppressive remarks during a heated argument on april 9 with his mistress, v. stiviano, after she posted a photo on instagram posing with magic johnson.
sterling excoriated stiviano repeatedly. he said, "it bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. do you have to? you can sleep with black people, you can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. the little i ask you is not to promote it on that, and not bring them to my games. don't put him (magic) on an instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. and don't bring him to my games."
ironically, stiviano is black and mexican. apparently sterling was completely oblivious to her mixed cultural background. she has since taken the picture down but the audio went viral and everyone - including president obama while in malaysia - is talking about him. moreover, nba players, coaches and fans expect nba commissioner adam silver to discipline the embattled clippers owner swiftly and decisively.
the nba plans to hold a tuesday news conference to discuss their investigation into sterling's polarizing attitude. portions of the recordings were released this weekend by tmz and deadspin. silver's first step in the process was to authenticate sterling's voice on the tape. although the nba has not confirmed it, his wife has attributed the comments to him.
rochelle sterling, in a statement to kabc-tv in los angeles said, "our family is devastated by the racist comments made by my estranged husband. my children and i do not share these despicable views or prejudices. we will not let one man's small mindedness poison the spirit of the fans and accomplishments of the team in the city we love. we are doing everything in our power to stand by and support our clippers team."
sacramento mayor kevin johnson, the former nba all-star serving as an advisor to the nba players association, called it "a massive distraction" to the league. a few owners condemned sterling's remarks, including miami's mickey arison, washington's ted leonsis and, most notably, charlotte's michael jordan. said jordan, "i'm obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. i'm confident that adam silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly."
silver replaced the retired nba commissioner david stern (after 30 years of exemplary service) february 1. and, this is his first job crisis. because silver works for the owners, its unclear what he legally can - and, will do. but after meeting with johnson on sunday he learned of five demands from the players' union:
1) sterling won't attend any nba games for the rest of the playoffs due to the "enormous distraction." 2) a full account of past allegations of discrimination by sterling and why the league never sanctioned him; 3) an explanation of the range of penalties the league could bring against sterling; 4) assurances the nba and the union will be partners in the investigation; 5) a decisive ruling.
sterling has a documented history of racist behavior. before his current stint as owner, he became rich as a realtor. he's been sued twice by the federal government for refusing to rent apartments to blacks and latinos. he was also sued for racial discrimination by elgin baylor, a former clippers executive. however, a jury shut down baylor's case.
the clippers lead the golden state warriors two games to one in the first round of the western conference playoffs. with about 20 minutes to go before game four, the clippers emerged from the tunnel, huddled together in center court and removed their jackets in unison. their uniforms were tucked inside out and they wore black socks and wristbands in a silent protest. the heat, trailblazers and warriors also wore black socks in a demonstration of brotherhood, outrage and solidarity.
chris paul, the clippers' all-star point guard, shouted to his teammates before they ran out, "it's just us, only us. we're all we got." clippers head coach doc rivers was unhappy yet understood their protest. rivers said, "as much as this is about basketball, this is life. and our guys, they have family. they have friends. and they have cellphones. and i can't imagine how much they've been pulled on and talked to and what you should do and what you shouldn't do and what you should say."
airline virgin america, used car dealership chain carmax and the chumash casino resort said they've ended their sponsorships of the clippers due to sterling's racist views. two other sponsors, kia motors america and red bull, said they'll suspend their advertising and sponsorship activities with the team. another sponsor, state farm, said it "will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization."
kia motors' suspension of ads and sponsorship does not affect its deal with clippers all-star forward blake griffin, who appears in commercials for the car company. similarly, the born to assist ad campaign featuring chris paul as himself, and a fictional, mustachioed insurance selling twin, cliff paul, will continue to run.
the naacp on sunday announced via twitter sterling will not be receiving a lifetime achievement award from the los angeles branch of the naacp. sterling had been slated to get the honor may 15 as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the group's los angeles chapter. sterling was previously given an award by the same chapter.
hall of fame nba player magic johnson, who was referenced (along with los angeles dodgers all-star centerfielder matt kemp) on the audio, said on abc-tv sunday, "he's got to come down hard." los angeles lakers all-star guard kobe bryant on monday wrote on twitter, "he should not continue owning the clippers." kevin johnson said, "this is a defining moment for the league. this is a defining moment for the commissioner."
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.