Donald Sterling's racist comments evoke sharp response from basketball world
NBA team owner Donald Sterling's racist comments have elicited a sharp response and a heap of criticism from the basketball world.
Donald Sterling, the owner of the LA Clippers team, has been banned from the NBA for life and fined $2.5 millions by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. This came about in the wake of a few racist comments made by Sterling being leaked to the public.
An audio copy of Sterling’s conversation with his girlfriend was released last week by TMZ. In the audio, Sterling was clearly asking his girlfriend to not publicly associate with black people. Moreover, he even expressed his anger at her for bringing black people to his games, including Magic Johnson.
Some of the more shocking quotes from the audio are given below:
“It bothers me a lot that you want to brodcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?”
“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.”
The audio shook the basketball world and a heavy stream of negative reactions starting flowing in towards Sterling against his comments.
The entire basketball community condemned Sterling for his comments and protested to the commissioner Adam Silver to take severe action against the owner, which the latter did on Tuesday by banning him from the NBA for life and fining him heavily.
Adam Silver said, “This has been a painful moment for all members of the NBA family. This will take some time and appropriate healing will be necessary.”
The episode has drawn a sharp reaction from none other than US President Barack Obama, who labelled Sterling’s remarks as “incredibly offensive racist comments.
Mr. Obama went on to add – “The United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation. We’ve made enormous strides but you’re going to continue to see this percolate up every so often. 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.”
“When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk. And that’s what happened here,” were the final words of the President on Sunday.
Here are some of the other notable reactions to Sterling’s comments:
“No, he should not continue owning the Clippers” – Kobe Bryant
“Commissioner Silver thank you for protecting our beautiful and powerful league. Great leader” – LeBron James
“If racism is a learned behaviour, how long will it go on for? How long will people be taught to be bigoted, to discriminate and to instill hatred in our communities?” – Steve Nash
“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.” – Michael Jordan
“In my opinion, he has to be suspended.” – Charles Barkley
“Racism is a mental health disease. Seek help.” – Metta World Peace
“His comments about African Americans are a black eye for the NBA.” – Magic Johnson
The LA Clippers team wore their jerseys inside-out during their game on Sunday to protest against their owner’s words.