The Los Angeles Clippers capped this weekend’s media reaction to racist comments allegedly made by team owner Donald Sterling by staging a silent protest before Game 4 of their play-offs run today, wearing their red warm-up shirts inside out to conceal the Clippers logo ahead of Sunday afternoon’s 118-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Sterling was identified on a 9-minute recording posted by TMZ and an extended 15-minute tape obtained by Deadspin this week telling girlfriend V. Stiviano not to bring black people including former hoops star Magic Johnson to his NBA games. Johnson hit back on the airwaves himself appearing on ABC‘s play-off pre-game show (see below) calling for NBA commissioner Adam Silver to “[do] his due diligence” and “come down hard” on Sterling, who “should not own a team anymore.”
“As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views,” said fellow ex-NBA superstar and current Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan in a statement. “I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.”
Speaking at a press conference in Malaysia, President Obama weighed in on the controversy. “I have confidence that the NBA commissioner Adam Silver, a good man, will address this. Obviously the NBA’s a league that is beloved by fans all across the country and it’s got an awful lot of African-American players and is steeped in African-American culture. I suspect the NBA is going to be deeply concerned in resolving this…The United States continues to wrestles with a legacy of race, slavery and segregation. That’s still there, the vestiges of discrimination.” (Watch video below.)
The NBA has promised to launch an investigation into Sterling’s alleged comments.
TNT commentator and former NBA star Charles Barkley weighed in with CNN’s Don Lemon saying “In my opinion, he has to be suspended.” Lemon tracked the breaking story on Friday from the CNN newsdesk. “This guy is an idiot,” he said of Sterling. “I felt like I was listening to someone from the 1930s, ’40s or ’50s.”
“When you keep a vicious dog and you know that it’s vicious, you can’t be surprised when one day it bites someone,” said sports commentator and Real Sports host Bryant Gumbel on NBC’s Sunday Beltway show Meet the Press.