Quibi has acquired a documentary series about the scandal that led to former Los Angeles Clippers owned Donald Sterling being forced to give up his NBA franchise and being banned from the league for life.
Blackballed, which counts Will Packer among its executive producers, highlights the five days during the 2014 NBA playoffs, when players and coaches led an unprecedented movement to hold racism accountable. The series that examines the cultural context of race in America through the lens of one of the most explosive events in recent sports history.
When Sterling’s infamous racist audio recording was leaked to the press in April 2014, every player, coach and employee of the Los Angeles Clippers was faced with the same question: How do you stand up in the face of bigotry and ignorance when the entire world is watching and everything is on the line? In Blackballed, Chris Paul, Doc Rivers, DeAndre Jordan and JJ Redick, along with some of the biggest names from the worlds of sports, politics, business and media, explain how they asserted their power, leading to the most definitive and unprecedented punishment in sports history.
The recording was made from a phone call between Sterling and his then-girlfriend V. Stiviano in which he told her, among other things, not to bring black people to Clippers games. Check out captioned audio of the call here:
“This powerful story, which portrays a defining moment in the history of the NBA, shines a spotlight on a cultural divide that has affected our country for decades,” said Will Packer. Added Blackballed director Michael Jacobs: “The Sterling scandal was so much more than a leaked tape. This series will offer a first-person retelling of the heightened drama and raw emotion surrounding a pivotal moment in sports history.”
The series is executive produced by Chris Gary and Ryan Simon, Sam Widdoes and Peter Cambor for District 33; Packer and Kelly Smith for Will Packer Media; and James Widdoes.
Quibi is the digital shortform service run by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman that launches in April.