NBA's Donald Sterling Tells Girlfriend, 'In Israel, Blacks Are Treated Like Dogs'

Owner Seeks To Justify Racist View of African-Americans

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling watches game with girlfriend V. Stiviano.
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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling watches game with girlfriend V. Stiviano.

By Haaretz

Published April 28, 2014.
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In a newly released audiotape of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s notorious racist remarks to his girlfriend, he seems to justify his views of African-Americans by noting how in Israel “the blacks are just treated like dogs.”

In the original, shorter tape released Friday by the TMZ website, which has caused a storm in the United States, Sterling is heard at a game complaining to his black-Mexican girlfriend, V. Stiviano, after seeing that she’d posted Instagrams of herself with black former basketball star Magic Johnson. “Don’t bring black people” to the Clippers games, he tells her. “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?”

In the new, 15-minute tape released Sunday by the U.S. website Deadspin, Sterling, 80, is heard telling Stiviano, 38, “You think I’m a racist …” which Stiviano denies. He insists that that’s what she thinks, that he has an “evil heart,” to which she replies, “I don’t think so. I think you have an amazing heart, honey, I think the people around you have poison mind, and have a way of thinking.”

At that point Sterling - born to American Jewish immigrant parents as Donald Tokowitz – seemingly tries to defend his views by putting them in an international context, singling out how blacks are treated in Israel.

Sterling: “It’s the world! You go to Israel, the blacks are just treated like dogs.”

Stiviano: “So you have to treat them like that too?”

Sterling: “The white Jews, there’s white Jews and black Jews, do you understand?”

Stiviano: “Are are the black Jews less than the white Jews?”

Sterling: “A hundred percent, fifty, a hundred percent.”

Stiviano: “And is that right?”

Sterling: “It isn’t a question – we don’t evaluate what’s right and wrong, we live in a society. We live in a culture. We have to live within that culture.”

Soon Stiviano brings up the Holocaust, and Sterling seems to get upset. She says she would never tell a person that she wasn’t bringing them to a game because of their “race or color or culture.” Then she adds, “It’s like saying, ‘Let’s just persecute and kill all of the Jews.’”


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