TMZ has sparked more controversy with the release of audio that allegedly has the voice of Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, making racist comments to his girlfriend, V. Stiviano.
The recording is of a man’s voice telling Stiviano not to post Instagram photos of herself with, and to avoid being seen in public with black people, more specifically NBA heavy weight Magic Johnson.
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While the NBA has promised swift action in investigating the case, big names like Miami Heat’s LeBron James have already admonished the statements. James said, “There’s no room for Donald Sterling in our league.”
Commissioner Adam Silver is taking an innocent until proven guilty stance and said, “All members of the N.B.A. family should be afforded due process and a fair opportunity to present their side of any controversy,” Mr. Silver said, “which is why I’m not yet prepared to discuss any potential sanctions against Donald Sterling. We will, however, move extraordinarily quickly in our investigation,” according to the New York Times.
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Silver also said he sees the investigation being completed during the next several days, though Sterling’s track record does not appear to be in his favor. While he never admitted to any wrongdoing, in 2009 he paid $2.725 million to settle a housing discrimination lawsuit brought against him by the Justice Department which accused him of pushing out black and Hispanic families, while also pushing out families with small children as well.
Sterling was also previously sued by the Clippers’ former long-term manager Elgin Baylor for racial discrimination, however the suit was unsuccessful.
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As part of a silent protest, the team wore their warm up jerseys inside out on court to hide the Clippers logo before Sunday’s game against the Golden Stare Warriors. Warriors fans fueled the fire with signs that read, “”Magic always welcome at Oracle,” and “No racism here.”
Ironically enough, the NAACP was set to present Sterling with a lifetime achievement award on May 15. That award has been pulled from Sterling by interim president Lorraine Miller, who announced Sunday that Sterling would not be receiving the honor. Miller also said she is looking to have a previous honor bestowed upon Sterling by the NAACP withdrawn.
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