NBA: The 7 Best Reactions to Donald Sterling’s Racist Diatribe
The fallout from Donald Sterling’s racist screed, which hit the internet over the weekend and dovetailed with the nation’s newest discourse on race, a discussion prompted by footage of Cliven Bundy telling journalists about “the Negro” has been swift and unrelenting. Sterling, who bought the Clippers in 1982 for $12 million and moved them from San Diego to Los Angeles, claims through a statement released by the Clippers that he “is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs, or feelings.” While the tape’s authenticity is currently under investigation by the NBA, neither the Clippers nor Sterling have denied that the voice on the recording is his.
So, while the tape may have surfaced under dubious circumstances — Sterling’s girlfriend is the defendant in a lawsuit that alleges she embezzled more than $1.8 million from the Sterling family, per the LA Times — the veracity of who is making the statements doesn’t seem to be partial to serious dispute. The face behind the Clippers franchise, a longtime staple of “worst team ever” lists and other unsavory descriptions of bad NBA teams, who has seen his team’s worth balloon to nearly 50 times the price he paid for it, almost certainly made those remarks, which are, in the nicest light, merely damaging to the uneasy relationship between NBA ownership, the players, and the league’s fans.
With national attention at it’s absolute peak after an exciting first round that has offered hours of highly competitive basketball played at the highest level, everyone involved in the NBA has voiced an opinion on Sterling’s remarks. While the tone has been universally consistent — no one thinks they’re anything other than disgusting — some have had more eloquent, poignant, or brutally honest reactions to the comments. Here are seven of the strongest.