The owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team is in hot water after a recording surfaced of his 10-minute rant about black people attending Clippers games.
Donald Sterling is facing backlash from sports figures, celebrities – even President Obama – over comments he made to his girlfriend in an audio recording obtained by TMZ Sports.
Some commentators have even attempted to link Sterling to the Republican Party, but records show his political support has gone to Democratic politicians, including former California Gov. Gray Davis and three-term U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley of New Jersey.
Sterling was talking to V. Stiviano, described in the recording as “black and Mexican,” after she posted a photo on Instagram with former basketball great Magic Johnson, TMZ reported, adding:
— “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” (3:30)
— “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 to bring them to my games.” (5:15)
— “I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people.” (7:45)
— “…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.” (9:13)
President Obama, who is traveling in Malaysia, denounced Sterling’s statements on Sunday.
“I don’t think I have to interpret those statements for you. They kind of speak for themselves,” he told Agence France-Presse. “When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk. I suspect the NBA is going to be deeply concerned in resolving this.”
Magic Johnson had a similar reaction.
“It’s a shame that Donald Sterling feels that way about African-Americans,” he told TMZ. “He has a team full of amazing African-American basketball players that are working to bring a championship to Clippers fans. The Clippers also have a strong minority fan base.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton is calling for the NBA to investigate Sterling and possibly bar him from owning the Clippers.
“No one should be allowed to own a team if they have in fact engaged in this kind of racial language,” he told TMZ. “We are prepared at National Action Network to rally in front of the NBA headquarters if this matter is not immediately dealt with.”
Sterling has a history stirring race-based controversy. The federal government sued him twice over allegations that he refused to rent apartments to blacks and Hispanics, according to TMZ, adding that a former Clippers executive also sued him for racial discrimination.
Listen to the full audio recording here.
Related: Clippers owner apologizes, tells his side; NAACP reconsiders lifetime achievement
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