April 26, 2014

Audio: Racist Tirade by Clippers Owner: Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been caught on audio making racist comments to his girlfriend V. Stiviano, the gossip site TMZ revealed. Sterling, angered by a photo of his girlfriend and Magic Johnson on Instagram, said to Stiviano, "You can sleep with them (black people). You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games." He added, "I'm just saying, in your lousy ------- Instagrams, you don't have to have yourself with, walking with black people."

TMZ reports, "You have to listen to the audio to fully grasp the magnitude of Sterling's racist worldview."

posted by rcade to basketball at 02:42 PM - 16 comments

That's an amazing fight. She never loses her cool and he keeps digging himself deeper and deeper. It's a lot of fun to hear a ridiculously entitled 80-year-old billionaire completely exposed as a pathetic racist.

posted by rcade at 02:54 PM on April 26, 2014

My son and I briefly discussed this today. Our opinion is that Doc Rivers will be (or at least should be) looking for a way out of his contract as soon as he can, black free agents might begin to consider the racial culture of the team and find other teams, and those who remain might well seek to move on. It is never a healthy thing to have this sort of reputation, deserved or otherwise. The city of Boston has long had the reputation of being somewhat hostile to black athletes. It was true for a while, but not so much anymore. Still, some NBA free agents will not consider the city as a destination. Of course, when it is 80s and sunny in Miami, the 20s and snowing of Boston are not very appealing.

Too bad for the Clippers and their fans that with the competitive dullness of the Lakers and having a good team with a good coach, their opportunity to become the "top dog" in LA may have been lost by the overactive mouth of the owner.

posted by Howard_T at 03:16 PM on April 26, 2014

Isn't this the same guy that taunts his own players? I seem to recall something about that a few years ago.

posted by NoMich at 03:27 PM on April 26, 2014

Yes, and worse, NoMich.

From former Clippers executive Elgin Baylor's legal complaint against Sterling in 2011:

"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 declaration. "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."
The guy is a genital wart on the league.

posted by Ufez Jones at 04:31 PM on April 26, 2014

I'm of the opinion that the word "racist" is thrown around far too often and that perhaps the term has been watered down.

Because Donald Sterling is a bonafide racist. Doc Rivers, Chris Paul and the rest of the Clippers should boycott the next game. The championship is not more important than this. I don't know how you can go out on the court after a public revelation like this.

And I would actively boycott the NBA if they don't expel Sterling immediately.

posted by phaedon at 05:08 PM on April 26, 2014

If they don't cancel it, this could get very awkward...

posted by grum@work at 11:45 PM on April 26, 2014

And then, the NBA returned to Seattle...

This is a bona-fide opportunity for the Hansen-Ballmer group should this prove true and Sterling ultimately gets the Marge Schott removal from day-to-day operations. The Clippers ownership group may have to cede to the NBA.

Stern and the owners of the other teams do seem to bear some responsibility if this proves true, they've long known the nature of Sterling.

posted by geekyguy at 09:36 AM on April 27, 2014

Sterling's continued presence in the NBA makes me think the other owners have little to no recourse to get rid of an owner. The guy paid millions to settle allegations of racist housing practices against blacks and Hispanics. That should have been more than enough to get him out, if such a thing was possible.

SI claims, "There is reportedly no language authorizing the NBA to sell a team because of an owner's hurtful remarks or embarrassing behavior."

The league and owners have probably decided that it's better to let time solve the problem for them, given that Sterling is 80 or 81 years old.

posted by rcade at 10:45 AM on April 27, 2014

Silver says, FWIW, that his office has broad latitude in deciding what to do once they verify the voice on the recording. Haven't found anyone who thinks that Silver has what it takes to properly address the situation.

Meanwhile, what sort of funky fiefdom does Sterling have established around him? At the very least, he has "associates" watching the GF and following social media and calling in what they think are transgressions when they find them, like the Instagram pics.

How many soldiers of Sterling are roaming about at large, and what are they tasked with? Is Baron Davis under surveillance just in case?

posted by beaverboard at 11:41 AM on April 27, 2014

I'm a day late looking for a birthday present, but I'm hoping to find him a copy of the Nelson Rockefeller Guide To Sex. Can't think of a more deserving recipient.

Step One: Have the concierge remove all defibrillators from the premises.

posted by beaverboard at 02:04 PM on April 27, 2014

If MLB could effectively force out McCourt (albeit under different circumstances), I would have to think the NBA could effectively find some hook, leg or otherwise, to push Sterling to sell. If they do not do so, I think it has to be interpreted as a failure of imagination/resolve and lack of will, rather than a case of "our hands were tied" (which is what the justification will surely be).

posted by holden at 02:30 PM on April 27, 2014

Edit: "leg" (in "leg or otherwise") above should be "legal".

posted by holden at 04:59 PM on April 27, 2014

Sterling's continued presence in the NBA makes me think the other owners have little to no recourse to get rid of an owner.

Supposedly the league agreement (which is a secret) allows for the league to buy an owner out whether they like it or not, but no billionaire is ever going to set that precedent. Admittedly you'd be inviting yourself to a courtroom version of The Never-Ending Story if you were involved, but anybody hoping to shame the guy is clearly unfamiliar with Sterling and has not been around an old person with gas. Shame is for the young.

posted by yerfatma at 08:37 AM on April 28, 2014

Leave Falkor out of this fatty!

posted by BornIcon at 10:34 AM on April 28, 2014

Sterling stayed away from yesterday's game due to the furor. So his wife went instead. Who has recently sued the girlfriend, as follows (CNN):

In the complaint, Rochelle Sterling accuses Stiviano of targeting extremely wealthy older men. The suit claims that Donald Sterling used the couple's money to buy Stiviano a Ferrari, two Bentleys, and a Range Rover and that Stiviano took possession of a $1.8 million duplex through fraud. Sterling also gave her nearly $250,000 in cash, the court document says.

Stiviano countered in another court document that there was nothing wrong with Donald Sterling giving her gifts.

I thought Phil Jackson took the triangle offense with him when he went to New York.

posted by beaverboard at 12:18 PM on April 28, 2014

In the complaint, Rochelle Sterling accuses Stiviano of targeting extremely wealthy older men

"Mom, make her make me stop hitting myself!"

posted by yerfatma at 01:17 PM on April 28, 2014

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