NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said racist remarks attributed to Donald Sterling, the Jewish owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, are “truly offensive and disturbing.”
Silver, who also is Jewish, said in a statement Sunday that the league will move “extraordinarily quickly” in its investigation and that Sterling has agreed not to attend his team’s opening-round playoff game Sunday night against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif. The Clippers own a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
TMZ published a 10-minute recording of the racist rant on its website late Friday, saying the recording was a conversation between Sterling and his model girlfriend, V. Stiviano.
Sterling, the son of Jewish immigrant parents, allegedly tells his girlfriend, who is black and Mexican, not to be seen in public with black people or to post photographs of herself with black people on Instagram. He also tells her not to bring black people, including Magic Johnson, to his team’s basketball games.
A statement issued by the team said “Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life.”
Sterling, who also is a landlord, has been sued in the past for discriminatory practices for refusing to rent to blacks and Latinos.
The American Jewish Committee condemned the remarks and called on the NBA to take appropriate action against Sterling.
“Donald Sterling’s callous remarks regarding African Americans are a painful reminder that, 60 years after the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education, and 50 years after the enactment of the Civil Rights Act, there is still work to be done,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “And that someone so deeply involved in the NBA, which exemplifies the racial tapestry of our country, would think this way is all the more striking.”