The NBA fans have enjoyed a very intense and competitive 2014 NBA Playoffs but it has been marred by a tape of the Los Angeles Clippers owner voicing his racist opinions of African Americans, an ethnic group that consists of 85 percent of the Clippers roster and approximately 75 percent of the players in the NBA.
Late Friday night, TMZ Sports published a taped argument between who they claim to be Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, and his girlfriend V. Stiviano. The fight supposedly started when Stiviano posted a shot of her and Magic Johnson on her Instagram page. Sterling then expressed outrage over her “associating with black people” and asked that she not bring them to games or be seen in public with them. It’s worth noting that on top of this just being blatantly racist and terrible, Stiviano is African American and Mexican.
A representative for Donald Sterling has responded to the audio posted by TMZ. According to TMZ, Sterling and the Clippers organization responded to them directly. The Clippers organization may use two defenses in Sterling’s behalf: the tape has been altered and that Stiviano has an ax to grind.
In terms of consistency, there are several comments from past and present Clippers’ players and employees, as well as those within the NBA stating that the audio is consistent with Sterling’s personality. Also, let’s not forget that Donald Sterling has an unadmirable history of discriminatory practices.
ESPN revealed in 2005 that Sterling had agreed upon a settlement with the Justice Department of Newport Beach, which charged him with counts of discriminatory rental practices against Hispanics, African Americans, and families with children.
In 2009, Sterling was sued twice, first by former Clippers GM Elgin Baylor, then by the U.S. Department of Justice. Baylor’s case alleged employment discrimination on the basis of age and race, while the government’s case alleged that Sterling refused to rent to African-Americans in Beverly Hills, among other claims of racially-biased rental practices.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the media on Saturday from Memphis, discussing the audio recording and indicated that he’d spoken with both Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers, the National Basketball Players Association president and Clippers’ all-star point guard Chris Paul, as well as Kevin Johnson, who is taking on a bigger role with the NBPA during this process.
Silver is not, however, ready to speak specifically as to what will come from this because all members of the NBA should be afforded due process. Silver did state that Sterling agreed not to attend the Clippers’ playoff game on Sunday in Golden State.
The NAACP has withdrawn an honor set to be given to Sterling. The NAACP’s Los Angeles branch was set to give the Clippers owner a Lifetime Achievement Award on May 15.
The head California NAACP branch then urged the Los Angeles branch to remove him from the honoree list.
Investigation is in progress-we urge the LA Branch to withdraw Donald Sterling from the honoree list at its upcoming gala. – CA State Conf
— NAACP (@NAACP) April 26, 2014
The NAACP revealed on CNN that they have withdrawn the award they were set to to Donald Sterling.
It will be several days, maybe weeks, before we see the end result of Donald Sterling’s verbal firestorm. Is there any way we can put it to the side so we can enjoy the rest of the 2014 NBA playoffs?