L.A. Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Under Fire for Racist Remarks: VIDEOS

Outrage over L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling's racist remarks exploded over the weekend, as major players as well as President Obama commented on the recording, in which Sterling told his girlfriend V. Stiviano not to associate with black people or bring them to his games.

SterlingSterling rails on Stiviano — who ironically is black and Mexican — for putting herself out in public with a black person (she has since taken the pic down).  But it doesn't end there.  You have to listen to the audio to fully grasp the magnitude of Sterling's racist worldview. Among the comments:

— "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?" (3:30)

— "You can sleep with [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." (5:15)

— "I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people." (7:45)

Here's the recording if you havent' heard it:

Stiviano says that Sterling knew he was being recorded.

Magic Johnson said Sterling shouldn't own a team anymore. Johnson was referenced in the recording when Sterling told Stiviano, "…Don't put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me.  And don't bring him to my games."

Bobcats owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan also released a statement:

"I look at this from two perspectives — as a current owner and as a former player. As an owner, I'm obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I'm confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.

As a former player, I'm completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA — or anywhere else — for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level. "

And President Obama, visiting Malaysia, made remarks aobut the incident:

"When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk…[The NBA has] an awful lot of African American players, it's steeped in African American culture. And I suspect that the NBA is going to be deeply concerned in resolving this."

He added:

"The United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation, that's still there, the vestiges of discrimination," Obama said during a news conference in Malaysia, where he was traveling.

"We've made enormous strides, but you're going to continue to see this percolate up every so often," he added. "And I think that we just have to be clear and steady in denouncing it, teaching our children differently, but also remaining hopeful that part of why statements like this stand out some much is because there has been this shift in how we view ourselves."

EichTo some in the LGBT world, the controversy had echoes of another – the outrage over former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, who was defended by conservatives for donating to California's Prop 8 campaign.

Wrote David Badash:

"Right now, many are demanding Sterling be sanctioned, many more want him to be forced to sell the Clippers.

But shouldn’t Andrew Sullivan, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, Bryan Fischer, Tony Perkins, AEI fellow Charles Murray, Legal Insurrection blogger William A. Jacobson, former GOP chair Ken Mehlman, Washington Post blogger Eugene Volokh, Slate’s Will Saletan, and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, among many others, voice support for Sterling?

Shouldn’t they be rushing to his defense?

They all certainly were defending Brendan Eich just a few weeks ago. Some, in a strange reverse exercise of “hate the sin, love the sinner” act, even this week."

John Aravosis agreed:

Oh the irony.

It was only a few weeks ago that America was lecturing the gay community about its intolerance for intolerance, for objecting to a bigot (in fact, an anti-gay activist, Brendan Eich) running a major American corporation (in this case, the Mozilla Foundation).

Republicans, including gay conservatives, were particularly upset that anyone would judge a man’s job performance, especially the man running a company, by his personal animus towards minorities, many of whom would be his own employees. So long as he didn’t discriminate against his own employees, he was free to be a bigot, they told us.

Now, they’re all eating crow.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he's not yet ready to sanction Sterling yet:

“All members of the NBA family should be afforded due process and a fair opportunity to present their side of any controversy, which is why I’m not yet prepared to discuss any potential sanctions against Donald Sterling,” Silver said. “We will, however, move extraordinarily quickly in our investigation. In the meantime, Mr. Sterling has agreed he will not attend his playoff game tomorrow in Golden State.”


  1. Keith says

    It’s a good thing that the US Supreme Court just ruled last week that we are in a post-racist society and admissions based on race are unconstitutional. Apparently the justices don’ live in the world we all live in every day.

  2. Zach says

    None of those who defended Eich will step up and defend Sterling because… um.. let me see here.

    Oh, right. People get their knickers in a twist because two guys are having butt sex, even those people who have butt sex.

  3. anon says

    Will Bill Maher be making a comment about the “black mafia” taking this guy out of his job?

  4. Brian1 says

    So wait, this guy thinks it’s perfectly ok for him to be out in public with his mistress even though he’s still married. He thinks it’s perfectly fine that his mistress is a person of colour. He also thinks that it’s perfectly ok for his black mistress to sleep with black people. But she posts a photo of herself standing next to Magic Johnson, and that somehow makes him look bad???

    Clearly the guy is a racist but I really have no idea how he’s deciding what actions violate his moral code. He seems more crazy and/or demented than racist.

  5. Mutant says

    I’m glad the irony and double standard isn’t lost on people. I’ll certainly be putting this instance in my pocket for future use.

  6. David says

    David Badash and John Aravosis are IDIOTS!

    The argument from Sullivan wasn’t that Eich should be free to be a bigot. It was that disagreeing with Badash and Aravosis on marriage doesn’t make him a bigot. Unsurprisingly, these two are incapable of getting that message.

  7. David says


    I’m doubt anyone on the Supreme Court asserted that we are living in a society free of racism. However, if you can prove my doubts wrong please go ahead.

    Saying that racial discriminations in admissions can be forbidden is NOT saying racism doesn’t exist. Furthermore, the racially-minded system you like has existed for quite some time and by your own admission hasn’t ended racism. So what is its purpose?

  8. says

    Gotta love when gay activist love piggybacking on race issues but refuse to acknowledge the rampant racism in the LGBT community.

    I wonder if Sterling’s girlfriend has any integrity whatsoever. I couldn’t imagine staying with someone who so obviously racist. She’s not even white passing enough for people to not think she’s mixed so why date her? Modern day slavery folks. They still hate us and still making money on us.

  9. Tim says

    David Badash and John Aravosis GET IT!

    The argument from Sullivan wasn’t that Sterling should be free to be a bigot. It was that disagreeing with Badash and Aravosis on race doesn’t make him a bigot. Unsurprisingly, these two have been quite capable of getting that message right off.

  10. JellyRollIceCreamBomb says

    Derrick: This is a Straw-Man “…love when gay activist (sic) love piggybacking … but refuse to acknowledge…”

    David: You’ve got to be trolling, right? If not, you’re the idiot. I have neither the energy nor inclination to unpack it all for you, why you’re such an idiot. Maybe someone else will be kind enough to.

  11. UFFDA says

    You can think whatever you want, but for god’s sake don’t record it or go around telling people if you don’t have a good sense of who gets to be forgiven. Black people who don’t like white people are the only ones who get to say it out loud.

    As for those who don’t like gay people…well they’re petty much on the run if they want to seem decent and reasonable. The religious ones are too preposterous to have to seriously bother with (except in the South).

    The personal fact is few of us care a bit what Sterling or almost anyone else says anymore than they care what most of us have to say. If you’re having fun you’re way too far ahead in the game to even have to notice most of what passes as news.

  12. Arrow says

    “Collective distain,” collectively disdains me. Speaking of racism, I want to hear a tape about why so many Caucasians date Asians?

  13. says

    @ JELLYROLLICECREAMBOMB: LOL He’s no troll but what he’s saying is truth! If you honestly think this community doesn’t have racist people regardless of their race you’re more naive than I thought!

    UFFDA: You’re a poor excuse for life living maybe you don’t care and judging from some of your past comments on here it’s understandable. What Black person said racist comments aloud and never got called out?

  14. Randy says

    This is different from Eich, because Eich put his money toward implementing an illegal law, which harmed California children, and cost the state a lot of money.

    Sterling simply destroyed his own relationship (unless there’s more to be revealed).

    I don’t think he should lose his job. Like any player, he needs to be suspended and heavily fined (to an extent he’ll feel). When he makes good, he can come back.

  15. subconscious says

    Donald Sterling is in his 80’s, has a couple billion dollars, most likely doesn’t give a rat f*ck about the outcome of this.

  16. petey says

    The sad thing is that Sterling is a Democrat. Conservatives will have a field day over this.

  17. Peter says

    Perhaps some good will come of this. I wonder if some of these Black players who hate gays so much will have a better understanding of their own bigotry.

  18. anon says

    He’s typical of most sports team owners in that he believes he’s part of a privileged class that get to define their own morality. MJ, an ex-Laker, was probably no fan of him or the Clippers to start with, but is part of the same group–and you can throw in all the associations to the rap music industry here too–it’s all the same, particularly their treatment of women (which no one in the blogosphere or amongst the opinionistas seems to care about). So, these guys can mistreat women all they like, and no one cares, but they can’t be hypocritically racist? Why aren’t we, since we have such moral authority now, calling for the owners of rap music labels to divest their assets over their treatment and attitudes towards women? And doubly over for their attitude towards gays?

  19. Rick says

    Nothing good ever comes to any white guy who dates a black woman (if he is straight) or a black man (if he is gay); nothing, ever.

    You are just asking for trouble if you do because they will inevitably do something just like this woman did to try to peg you a “racist” if any kind of conflict develops between the two of you.

    Same reason you should avoid hiring blacks, generally speaking–as soon as something goes wrong and you have to criticize or discipline them in some way (even constructively), they will invariably pull out the race card. Nothing but trouble ever comes from them.

  20. Arrow says

    Have we had a spring riot? Riots are usually associated with the hot summers here in LA. Hopefully this will not spiral. Maybe Obama can temper.

  21. Derrick from Philly says

    LOL @ Rick LOL

    ” Nothing good ever comes to any white guy who dates a black woman (if he is straight) or a black man (if he is gay); nothing, ever.”

    Spoken like a true Grand Dragon of the KKK…except they wouldn’t have your azz in the Klan if it became public that you give up your azz.

    Oh, you are hilarious.

  22. enchantra says

    So a man who hires almost nothing but black people and signs millions of dollars worth of paychecks to them for playing a ball game, he’s a raciss.

  23. enchantra says

    So a man who hires almost nothing but black people and signs millions of dollars worth of paychecks to them for playing a ball game, he’s a raciss.

  24. SpaceCadet says

    It’s always the same racist trolls (or the same person) making the same idiotic comments. Too dumb to exist.

  25. Tyler says

    I don’t see that he said anything wrong. He wasn’t telling her not to have Blacks as friends. He was just saying not to be more selective about who to bring to games. He has to care about who makes up the spectators as that can affect the value of his team.

  26. Aislander says

    The recent events regarding the owner of the L.A. Clippers are very instructive. Let me first make it clear that I thoroughly condemn Donald Sterling, the Chairman and Owner of the LA Clippers, for his racist comments.
    That being said, let’s examine the public outrage going on and the depth of Mr. Sterling’s comments. Mr. Sterling made offensive comments about black people that are causing an absolute firestorm with near universal calls for his resignation.
    The comments were to the effect that he did not want his ex-girlfriend having black people accompany her to the games nor did he want her posting her associations with blacks on social media, although he said he didn’t care if she otherwise associated with them or even slept with them.
    Now let’s consider the ouster of the CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, who contributed money to a successful campaign to deny equal treatment of gays under civil marriage law — to actually TAKE AWAY their then existing right to marry and protect their spouse and families in the same manner that heterosexuals take for granted. Mr. Eich resigned under pressure from Mozilla’s board as well as employees and the public.
    There has been quite a backlash insisting that we should tolerate Mr. Eich’s monetary support for suppression of equal rights for gays; that he should not have had to resign. Yet now we hear virtually universal calls for Mr. Sterling to resign, one reason being that no one will want to join the team.
    Is it just me, or does anyone else see a double standard here? Just as the NBA is 70% black, the Silicon Valley high tech/Information Technology business is composed of a huge majority of people who are either gay or are exceptionally supportive of equal rights for gays, especially among the best and brightest that Mozilla desperately needs to attract and retain as employees. I would venture that majority is easily at least 70% as well. Anyone who has actually worked in the Silicon Valley hi tech/IT environment is surely aware of this, as are people who raise funds for pro-gay equality efforts.
    Now why is it that there is so much call for restraint and tolerance of Mr. Eich, while such universal condemnation and calls for resignation of Mr. Sterling, who by the way, made his comments in private, and certainly is not accused of helping fund any efforts to take away rights from blacks?
    It would seem a logical conclusion that anti-gay bias is somehow considered by many to be more acceptable than anti-black bias. While I find Mr. Sterling’s comments disgustingly repugnant and also think he should resign, I find Mr. Eich’s actual financial support of denying gays — including the very gays he as CEO employs — equal treatment under the law at least as reprehensible. More germane to his position as CEO (and as Mozilla’s board of directors undoubtedly realized) the situation was potentially just as debilitating to his ability to lead his company as it is for Mr. Sterling.
    We are told we should show restraint, that Mr. Eich should have been allowed to keep his job, and that tolerance is a two way street. But current events sure point to some obvious hypocrisy.

  27. FakeOutrage says

    Many people exist who think just like Sterling. To them, black and hispanic peoples sole purpose is to serve white people. Period. They can hire blacks to work for them much like slave owners used blacks to work their field. They can even have sex with them, privately. This mindset is also common with white gay men. How many white gay men secretly have sex with black/hispanic men but will not date one. They believe minorities are for sexual gratification/exploitation only. Look at the sex tours that many white gays go on to Brazil, Dominican Republic etc. Sterling represents many whites, including white gays. “Feed them/f*ck them” but don’t be seen PUBLICLY WITH THEM. Slave owner mentality. Wise up people.

  28. Course says

    Thank you AISLANDER!

    What a breath of fresh air. Thank you for taking some time and energy to articulate all that.

    Please don’t feel pressured to respond to the hydra-headed snake troll rebuttals that are almost sure to come your way now that you’ve said something coherent, true, and intelligent.

  29. Derrick from Philly says

    Oh, please. Most Black folks I’ve talked to couldn’t give a poop about Sterling’s attitude. It’s only White liberals, some Black pundits & Black athletes who are speaking out about this old racist NBA owner. We’re used to it. It back hundreds of years.

    I’m sure Thomas Jefferson said Sally Hemmings, “don’t let a n.gger man touch that pussy until I’m threw with it.” Well, he said it in a different way.

  30. Reswess says

    Rick, don’t appropriate Derrick From Philly’s name to espouse pure crap.

    Take your medication. Seriously.

    A dead giveaway of your appropriation is the contrarian shite they would never say, not to mention Derrick knows how to spell.

    ‘threw” – Really?!

  31. Derrick form Philly says

    Hi, REWESS,

    actualy, I have to admit that the commment about Black folks’ reaction to the NBA owner Stering’s were mine.

    Most Black folks are not surprised by this white racst’s behavior (NBA owner).
    Well, REWESS,

    I’m sorry if have disappointed you. But I’m glad that you are a new voice here on this blog.

    Thank you.

  32. Rowan says

    Lol, I thought that comment was pretty Derrick…and it’s true Derrick BUT they have also been complaining….check twitter, etc, comments on blogs..

    I see hypocrisy there though as many blacks are very pro freedom of speech….especially to do with ‘religion’…

  33. Frank says

    @Aislander Mr. Sterling has been known to have racist beliefs for a while now. He’s had two discrimination law suits against him already, which he settled out of court. It was also said that during contract negotiations with one of his players, when they said the money he was offering wasn’t enough, Mr. Sterling replied “well it’s enough for a poor black”. What’s sad is that with all this going on, nobody really did anything about it up until this point. In fact people are acting as if Mr. Sterling is somehow benevolent, because he chose to pay his players for the work the put in, which is the bare minimum you are supposed to do as the owner of a profitable professional sporting franchise.

  34. Bill says

    @Zach: regarding your comment, “None of those who defended Eich will step up and defend Sterling because…” … well, (a) people haven’t had time to make fools of themselves over Sterling, (b) Eich’s situation is different, and (c) people weren’t “defending” Eich (at least in my case) but rather questioning assumptions about his motivation, which were unknown, and pointing out details of California Labor law (which is merely a matter of fact).

    Sterling apparently (see below) made vile, racist comments. Eich donated $1000 in favor of Prop 8, but when pressed for details, someone looked into it a bit further and found that Eich had made two $500 donations a few days apart, with the first on October 25, 2008. That’s too bad, but it is simply not clear if it was because he disliked gays and wanted to deny them their rights or if it was because he was being pressured by religious leader with his wife telling him that they needed to donate to maintain their social standing, or if it was for some other reason. It was at the last minute, and during that time Prop 8 people pulled out the stops in a desperate attempt to raise cash fast. I’d imagine some religious groups helped (possibly giving the Prop 8 people names and phone numbers, and reinforcing the sales pitch during a church service).

    In Sterling’s case, some questions need to be asked as well, centered around how the recording was made, and whether the original recording was edited. Editing can be detected by looking for discontinuities in background noise and sometimes some other effects (e.g., slight and sudden changes in volume), but that can be washed out to some extent when using a compressed audio format to provide it on a web site.

    The conversation was apparently a private one between Sterling and his girlfriend, so how the recording was made is relevant. In principle (but hopefully not in practice) he could have been set up to provide material that could be cut and spliced to change the meaning. For instance, if he has a habit of repeating what others say and then commenting, you can use that to get the phrases you would want for a hit piece.

    If on the other hand the recording was accurate but was a recording of a phone conversation, various laws may have been violated in making it.

    So, Sterling sounds really bad, but there are some questions about what went on that need to be answered as well. Today’s news indicates that the NBA is fining Sterling 2.5 million. Should the NBA be able to fine people for a private conversation that had nothing to do with the NBA’s business? And the woman on the tape is being sued by Sterling’s wife, who (in today’s news) is apparently claiming that the girlfriend has a habit of targeting “wealthy older men.” If so and if she made the tape, I would not consider her trustworthy enough to accept the recording on face value (without an analysis of the recording to look for signs of editing).