Donald Sterling and his (hopefully soon to be ex) girlfriend V. Stiviano
It wasn’t a drunk rant or anything that could have been misinterpreted when it comes to the recent statements by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Sterling in a phone conversation with his girlfriend V. Stiviano — who describes herself as Black and Mexican — stated she should not associate herself with African-Americans, most notably Magic Johnson.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling made his feelings about African-Americans and other minorities crystal clear in a heated and disturbing argument with his girlfriend in an argument on earlier this month. The exchange was triggered when Sterling was notified of a photo of Stiviano and former Los Angeles Laker Magic Johnson, the photo was on V. Stiviano’s Instagram page — which no longer has the image. From that point the conversation took an appalling turn for the worse. Here is the audio as obtained by TMZ:
The clear irony here is some of Sterling’s best players and head coach are African-American.
This of course isn’t Sterling’s first racial rodeo. There was an age and race discrimination suit against Sterling by former Clippers GM Elgin Baylor in 2011. The case was shut down because the jury wasn’t convinced by Baylor’s claims. He also paid the largest Federal Housing Discrimination Settlement in U.S. history because he did not want to rent or lease to minorities. Summer Davenport, one of Sterling’s property supervisors gave some damning testimony.
This most recent development comes on the heels of the Clippers best season ever with a legitimate shot to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.
I’ll be the first to take the Los Angeles Clippers players to task and ask them not to play in Game 4 tomorrow against the Golden State Warriors or any game following until the NBA takes action against Sterling.
This situation is bigger than future contracts, playoff bonuses, ESPN television deals and ratings. It’s about standing up to an owner who doesn’t respect his players or coaches, their race or culture. To make this kind of statement during the NBA Playoffs would reverberate shock waves throughout the sports world.
The NBA and the media have been quick to chastise players for self-expression, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, the player dress code and the Miami Heat wearing hoodies to honor Trayvon Martin. It’s time for owners like Sterling and those of his ilk are dealt with just as swift a sword. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver faces his first big decision, one that may set the tone for his regime.
The Los Angeles Clippers can take a stand by simply sitting down.