President Obama, Others Respond To Clippers Owner’s Tirade
The backlash continues in the wake of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's alleged racially charged remarks.
CNN reports that President Obama was asked about Sterling's comments about African-Americans during a press conference in Malaysia with Prime Minister Najib Razak Sunday, to which he replied, "When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk. That's what happened here."
The President went on to say that the alleged remarks show that "the United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation," adding, "that's still there, the vestiges of discrimination. We've made enormous strides, but you're going to continue to see this percolate up every so often."
NBA great and and Bobcats chairman Michael Jordan said in a statement released Sunday, "I look at this from two perspectives - as a current owner and a former player. 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."
Jordan continued, "As a former player, I'm completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA - or anywhere else - for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level."
And Clippers coach Doc Rivers said, "I didn't like the comments. I'm going to tell you now. I'm speaking on behalf of the team, so the players are not going to deal with this issue. We had a great team meeting this morning about it."
"A lot of guys voiced their opinions," added Rivers. "None of them were happy about it. This is a situation where we are trying to go after something very important for us, something we've dreamed about all of our childhoods…we're not going to let anyone get in the way of those dreams."
Sterling, ironically, was set to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, but interim NAACP president Lorraine Miller says that will not happen.
TMZ received and published audio of an alleged conversation between Sterling and his female companion V. Stiviano where Sterling told her he did not want her to "bring black people" to his games after a now-deleted Instagram photo of Stiviano with Magic Johnson was posted.
Sterling then allegedly said, "Why are you taking pictures with minorities? It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?"