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Sports » Donald Sterling’s racism has been well-documented for years

Donald Sterling’s racism has been well-documented for years

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TMZ made headlines today by publishing audio of billionaire Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling reprimanding his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, for posting Instagram photos with black people. She apparently shared a picture of herself and Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson, for which Sterling criticized her and demanded that she not associate with black people “publicly.” He also told her to not bring black people to Clippers games. The news spread like wildfire and has sparked immediate outrage, as it should. But something should be acknowledged.

Donald Sterling has been accused of racism numerous times in the past. This is not new or rare. This man, most likely, is an unapologetic racist.

In 2009, former longtime Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor sued the organization for wrongful termination, accusing Sterling of cultivating what was referred to as a “racist attitude.” “While ignoring my suggestions and isolating me from decisions customarily reserved for general managers, the Clippers attempted to place the blame for the team’s failures on me,” Baylor said in the suit. “During this same period, players Sam Cassell, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette complained to me that Donald Sterling would bring women into the locker room after games, while the players were showering, and make comments such as, ‘Look at those beautiful black bodies.’ I brought this to Sterling’s attention, but he continued to bring women into the locker room.” Baylor lost the suit, with a jury rejecting Baylor’s claim and awarding him nothing.*

Former Clippers GM Paul Phipps told sports writer Jeff Pearlman that Sterling’s racism surfaced when Phipps was attempting to hire a new coach to replace Paul Silas in the 1980s. Villanova coach Rollie Massimino was interviewed for the job and he angrily called Phipps after a conversation with Sterling. “Here’s this guy,” Massimino said, “and he has this blonde bimbo with him, they have a bottle of champagne, they’re tanked. And Don looks at me and he says, ‘I wanna know why you think you can coach these n—ers.’” After the interaction with Sterling, Massimino refused the job.

In 2006, Sterling was sued by the Department of Justice for housing discrimination. The billionaire and his wife Rochelle reportedly refused to rent to non-Korean prospective tenants and lied about the availability of apartment units to prevent blacks and Latinos from obtaining housing in the buildings he owned around Los Angeles. The Sterlings voiced a preference for renting to Korean tenants. Peter Keating of ESPN the Magazine also wrote about Sterling’s racism as it pertained to his housing practices. “When Sterling first bought the Ardmore, he remarked on its odor to Davenport. ‘That’s because of all the blacks in this building, they smell, they’re not clean,’ he said, according to [former Sterling property supervisor Sumner] Davenport’s [testimony during a 2002 lawsuit hearing against the billionaire.] ‘And it’s because of all of the Mexicans that just sit around and smoke and drink all day.’ He added: ‘So we have to get them out of here.’ ”

With this latest controversy, Sterling’s racist beliefs are unquestionable. If the voice on the tape is proven to be Sterling, there is now audio proof. But don’t hold your breath waiting for Clippers players or Coach Doc Rivers to take a stand publicly against the bigoted team owner. There will be a lot of “I’m just focused on the playoffs” and “I haven’t even heard about it, really.” But the right thing to do, for the players, the coaching staff and the NBA, is to move for Donald Sterling to be removed as owner of a team that thrives on the bodies of black players. If not, the team, the players and the league will have to forever contend with the fact that they condone and support an organization that encourages a plantation culture.

*It was previously erroneously reported that Baylor withdrew his lawsuit.


  1. will caban on April 26, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Donald Sterling reminds me of the Fassbender character in 12 Years A Slave… wonder the Clips have been losers since forever…

  2. kelly on April 26, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    it will be a major mistake for those players to act like abunch of house n… and let massa .. trample all over them …. if there was ever a time in our black history to make a stand its now .. we have to show white people that we got the power …. 90% of the players on anyteam is black , MARK CUBAN … OWN THE MAVERICKS BUT I BET YOU THE MAVES WOULD HAVE ALL BOYCOTTED THE TEAM …
    THIS , OLD WRINKLE NECK , KKK, SKIN HEAD , IS no better than a maggot , to stoop as low as to think any race of people is less disserving of human dignitiy as a white person ..we know his type real well ..even if you want to pretend that the game is all that matters … NO IT AINT … a game should and will not take prevailance over human pride and self respect .for all ….. this old bastard has profitted of the backs and sweat of young black men …running up and down that court for 3-4 million a year most of them make ….. thats nothing incomparison to what he make meaning sterling … majic johnson said it right … he is un deserving of an appollogy either … he should be held fully accountable for his miserable ,dirty thoughts …. THIS IS TRUELY WHAT WE AS BLACKS HAVE TO DEAL WITH BEHIND CLOSE DOORS … WE CANT EVEN APPLY FOR AN APARTMENT WITHOUT SCRUTINY AND DENIAL…..
    I HOPE THEY BURN HIM AT THE STAKES … I HOPE THEY FIRE HIM FROM THE LEAGUE ….AND HE GO SOMEWHERE A ROTT ON HIS MILLIONS ….. he will have to buy friendship from now own ……. let him see how it feel to be shunned or not accepted …. for opportunities .. no telling how many people he has decriminated against already its just sad …. and pothetic ..that he is this way …make no since to be so evil DONT RICH PEOPLE KNOW THE BIBLE SAID IT WILL BE EASIER FOR A CAMBEL TO GET THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE THAN FOR A RICH MAN TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD ! PERIOD ENOUGH SAID

  3. kelly on April 27, 2014 at 12:04 am

    PS . .i will join majic johnson in saying , im a clipper fan ,but i will never watch or go to a clipper game or allow my family to go …. either every black person with season tickets need to cancel them now … its a stand we must take to protect our pride and respect as people . .NO MAN HAS THE RIGHT TO DISPLAY SUCH ANGER AND HATE TO NO MAN OR WOMAN , AND STILL FUNCTION AS A BUSINESS LEADER .. HE AINT NO BUSINESS MAN . ..HE is a hooded wizard … his cap is in his pocket and his burnt cross is on display

  4. Steelo on April 27, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Sterling has to go. It should be handled expediently, thoroughly & professionally. We can’t let our emotions cloud reason and give him a legal loophole to continue to benefit financially from this franchise. A sit out of a game, may give him legal recourse to sue both the POA and delay any punishment by the league. When you kill a tree, you can’t just clip the branches…you dig up the entire root!

  5. sotiredofthebs on April 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Thank God I hate basketball. Always issues going on.