Reaction to TMZ's audio recording of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling allegedly telling his girlfriend he doesn't want her taking African-Americans to games has been loud and swift. Here's a sampling from social media, including an Instagram post from Clippers center DeAndre Jordan of a solid black photo. Jeremiah Rivers, the son of Clippers coach Doc Rivers, also tweeted his opinions. President Barack Obama was even asked about Sterling during his trip to Asia.
"He has a history of being a bigot and a racist," West said about Sterling. [...]
"You can't be naïve about the thoughts and mindsets of (some) people in this country," West said. "We live in this sort of reality anyway where we understand that people … have all types of perceptions towards us, whether good or bad. I guess being an athlete or entertainer, people can come cheer for you but as soon as the game is over, they are who they are and they think how they think, they feel how they feel.
"I'm not naïve to that. I don't think our society has all of a sudden changed and people who are in power all of a sudden think different about us, just because you dribble a basketball or catch a (darn) football, it's just not the reality of it."
"He is who he is. They ain't going to change the man," West said. "The man's going to go to his grave being who he is. … This is not going to change him.
"Because he has black athletes or whatever. He is who he is. There have been folks before him and there have been a ton of them after him."
Clippers point guard Chris Paul, who is also the president of the National Basketball Players Association, issued the following statement:
“On behalf of the National Basketball Players Association, this is a very serious issue which we will address aggressively. We have asked [Sacramento] Mayor Kevin Johnson to expand his responsibilities with the NBPA, to determine our response and our next steps. As players, we owe it to our teams and our fans to keep our focus on our game, the playoffs, and a drive to the Finals.”
Johnson, whom Paul and the players' union tapped earlier this month to lead the search for a new NBPA executive director, also weighed in:
“The reported comments made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling are reprehensible and unacceptable. The National Basketball Players Association must and will play a very active role in determining how this issue is addressed. There needs to be an immediate investigation and if the reports are true, there needs to be strong and swift action taken. I have spoken with NBPA President Chris Paul and will be leading the NBPA in addressing the implications of this serious matter. I will be formally reaching out to the NBA today to determine our next steps. While I originally came on to lead the Executive Director search, this issue requires immediate attention from the Players Association. I will be keeping Chris Paul, the Executive Committee, and all player representatives informed of every step."
Clippers team president Andy Roeser also released a statement:
“We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered. We do know that the woman on the tape — who we believe released it to TMZ — is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would “get even.” Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life. He feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them. He is also upset and apologizes for sentiments attributed to him about Earvin Johnson. He has long considered Magic a friend and has only the utmost respect and admiration for him — both in terms of who he is and what he has achieved. We are investigating this matter.”
- Sports & Recreation
- Donald Sterling
- Jeremiah Rivers
- President Barack Obama
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Doc Rivers
- Earvin Magic Johnson
- Chris Paul