NAACP Rescinds Donald Sterling Award; President Obama Weighs In
An audio recording purportedly of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is sending shockwaves around the sports world. On the tape, Sterling tells his girlfriend not to bring black people to Clippers games.
10:57 a.m.: The NAACP has wisely rescinded the award it was slated to give to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
#DonaldSterling will not be receiving a lifetime achievement award from the LA Branch of the NAACP. #MTP— NAACP (@NAACP) April 27, 2014
This wouldn't have been the first time the organization had honored Sterling, despite his checkered reputation and legal problems.
President Obama weighed in on the controversy all the way from Malaysia.
When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk. That's what happened here."
He added that, despite the progress the country has made on race, "you're going to continue to see this percolate up every so often."
7:33 p.m.: Donald Sterling, in the ultimate of face-palm development, is apparently due to receive a lifetime achievement award (h/t Dashiell Bennett) from the NAACP next month.
4:36 p.m.: As the rest of the world weighs in on this controversy, a statement from National Basketball Players Association President Chris Paul was just released. Paul, it should be noted, also happens to play for Sterling as the Los Angeles Clippers star point guard.
“On behalf of the National Basketball Players Association, this is a very serious issue which we will address aggressively. We have asked 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.”
Former NBA player and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who has remained active in the NBPA, called Sterling's reported comments "reprehensible and unacceptable."
An audio recording purportedly of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is sending shockwaves around the sports world. On the tape, Sterling tells his girlfriend V. Stiviano (who is half-black and half-Mexican) not to bring black people to Clippers games or pose with them in pictures on social media.
Here are some of the lowlights of the nine-minute tape:
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?”
"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 … and not to bring them to my games."
Outrage was swift. Former Laker Magic Johnson was specifically mentioned by name in the recording when Sterling upbraids V. Stiviano for posting a picture she took with Johnson on Instagram.
.@cjbycookie and I will never go to a Clippers game again as long as Donald Sterling is the owner.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 26, 2014
Rapper Snoop Dogg may have won the first round of celebrity reactions with a profanity-laced tirade.
The Clippers, who are in the middle of a playoff run, will play tomorrow night in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors. Sports media factotum Bill Simmons crowd-sourced possible responses:
It’s good seeing @BillSimmons already asking for input from the masses on FB on how they would handle it. pic.twitter.com/0nvF1wfoYY— Joshua Bowles (@Hoosier43) April 26, 2014
There were already red flags vis-a-vis Sterling's past:
He was sued twice by the federal government for allegedly refusing to rent apartments to blacks and Latinos. He was also sued by former Clippers exec Elgin Baylor for racial discrimination, although a jury rejected the claim."
Here's a handy guide to Sterling's other alleged misdeeds. It's a long, troubling list. Sterling has owned the Clippers since 1979.
While the NBA investigates Sterling, quick work was made of his latest controversy in the Twittersphere:
YIKES. Awkward pic up today on the Clippers website. #DonaldSterling pic.twitter.com/dEzJmREHy9— Dan Abramson (@danabramson) April 26, 2014
#DonaldSterling says the #KKKlippers new "alternate jerseys" will be worn only in Confederate southern states. pic.twitter.com/B8QElEfGwd— Diane in 7A (@Diane_7A) April 26, 2014