Who Is Donald Sterling and How Did He Become Synonymous With Bigotry?

Jewish Hoops Owner Changed Name — Courts Controversy

getty images

By Danny Miller

Published April 29, 2014, issue of May 09, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

Recalling “the silence of too many” in the face of the Nazis’ early acts of anti-Semitism and later genocide, the two communal officials said, “We join those who condemn Mr. Sterling’s racist comments, and all such bigotry.”

In the taped conversation, the man identified as Sterling repeatedly chastises his mistress, V. Stiviano, for bringing black people to Clippers games, for being photographed with black men and for posting such photographs on her Instagram account for all to see. She protests that she herself is both Mexican and black.

“We don’t evaluate what’s right and wrong,” he admonishes Stiviano when she says she doesn’t discriminate against people on the basis of race. “We live in a society. We live in a culture. We have to live within that culture.”

As a young man, Sterling made a name for himself as a divorce and personal injury attorney. He then moved into real estate and became one of the largest property owners in southern California. Moving into the sports world, he purchased the Clippers in 1981 for $12 million, which seems a steal today. Bloomberg Businessweek estimated its worth on the market this week at “$750 million or more…even in a fire sale.”

Today, Forbes lists Sterling’s own net worth at $1.9 billion and ranks him as No. 974 among the world’s richest people.

Sterling’s involvement in Jewish charities and organizations is spotty. In 1974, he opened up his Beverly Hills home for a fundraiser for the Sephardic Women’s Division of the United Jewish Welfare Fund, the predecessor of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

Ironically, the guest of honor at this function was Gerda Weissmann Klein, the Holocaust survivor who would go on to win an Academy Award in 1995 for One Survivor Remembers, a short film based on her inspiring life. At the age of 89, Klein continues to work tirelessly as a human rights activist, spreading a message of tolerance and speaking out against bigotry.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.