Monday, April 28, 2014

Sterling Comments Stir Rage In Media

David Sterling, V. Stiviano
Before their playoff game Sunday, the Los Angeles Clippers carried out a silent, on-court protest against owner Donald Sterling over an audio tape that has surfaced of him making racist comments.

The Clippers players gathered at the center of the basketball court before the game -- which they lost 118-97 to the Golden State Warriors -- and took off their Clippers warm-up shirts and left them on the floor. They went on to warm up wearing inside-out red shooting shirts so the Clippers name or logo wasn't shown, and during the game they wore black arm or wrist bands and black socks. Sterling, who'd originally planned to be there for the game, decided not to attend after speaking with the NBA, which is investigating his alleged comments.

In the tape, which was released by celebrity gossip site TMZ, the 81-year-old Sterling told his much younger girlfriend, V. Stiviano, during an argument that he doesn't want her to bring black people to Clippers games or post pictures with them on Instagram. The rant was apparently sparked by Stiviano -- who is herself black and Mexican -- posting a photo on Instagram of her and Magic Johnson.

Sterling said, in part: "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to? . . . I think the fact that you admire [Magic] -- I've known him well, and he should be admired. And I'm just saying that it's too bad you can't admire him privately. And during your ENTIRE F***ING LIFE, your whole life, admire him -- bring him here, feed him, f**k him, I don't care. You can do anything. But don't put him on an Instagram for the world to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games. OK?"

In a statement, the Clippers said they didn't know if the tape was legitimate or had been altered, and said that Sterling, quote, "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."

However, reports say that Sterling has a reputation for racism, and he's had to settle at least two big-money lawsuits over housing discrimination at properties he owns. Stiviano's lawyer released a statement yesterday that said the audio tapes -- including a longer version of the conversation that was released by Deadspin -- are legitimate. The quotes came from about an hour's worth of recorded conversation that Stiviano says she didn't leak to the media.

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