Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling watches game with girlfriend V. Stiviano. / Getty Images
Until recently, Donald Sterling was mostly known (if at all) as the owner of the ‘other’ basketball team in Los Angeles.
It’s bad enough that his Los Angeles Clippers have long lived in the shadow of the iconic Lakers. Now Sterling, a real estate mogul who is Jewish and was born Donald Tokowitz, has now been exposed as a blatant racist.
Sterling is captured on an embarassing tape telling his much-younger model girlfriend not to be seen with so many people of color at ball games.
“Why are you taking pictures with minorities? Why?” Sterling asks his girlfriend, who goes by the name V. Stiviano, according to TMZ Sports.
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people,” he adds. “Do you have to?”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who is also Jewish, called a hastily arranged news conference to address the issue Saturday night.
“The audio recording posted by TMZ is truly offensive and disturbing, and we intend to get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible,” Silver said.
Clippers President Andy Roeser issued a statement noting that Stiviano is embroiled in a legal dispute with Sterling.
“Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings,” Roeser said.
Reverend Jesse Jackson told ESPN that Sterling should be suspended.
“Donald Sterling should be banned immediately. The question is for how long,” the civil rights activist said. “To do otherwise would subject his players to the indiginity of working for a racist.