In an audio recording obtained my TMZ, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling told his girlfriend that he doesn’t want her to bring black people to his games or post pictures with black people on Instagram.
The tape begins in the middle of an argument between Sterling and his girlfriend, V. Stiviano. Sterling appears to be upset that Stiviano, who is black and Mexican, has been posting photos to Instagram of herself with black people — in particular, with Magic Johnson.
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people,” he is heard saying. “Do you have to?”
Stiviano says that all she did was take a picture with someone she admires. “I think the fact that you admire [Magic] — I’ve known him well, and he should be admired,” Sterling replies. “And I’m just saying that it’s too bad you can’t admire him privately. And during your ENTIRE FUCKING LIFE, your whole life, admire him — bring him here, feed him, fuck him, I don’t care. You can do anything. But don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games. OK?”
“Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings,” they added. “It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life.”
Sterling has long had a reputation for racism. The Clippers owner and real estate mogul settled a lawsuit confidentially in 2005 that accused him of discriminating against black and Hispanic tenants at properties he owned. He paid $2.7 million in response to another housing discrimination lawsuit in 2009. Sterling and his wife denied wrongdoing and said the settlement was not an admission of guilt, according to the LA Times.
Sterling was also sued for racial and age discrimination by former Clippers manager Elgin Baylor in 2011, but Baylor’s suit was rejected by an LA county jury.
Video & Transcript of Silver’s Press Conference
Yesterday NBA Commissioner Adam Silver took decisive action against Donald Sterling for his racial intolerance. Sterling received a lifetime ban from both the NBA and the Clippers Sterling received a $2.5 million fine, the maximum penalty.
ADAM SILVER: Shortly after the release of an audio recording this past Saturday morning of a conversation that allegedly included Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the NBA commenced an investigation, which among other things, included an interview of Mr. Sterling.
That investigation is now complete. The central findings of the investigation are that the man whose voice is heard on the recording and on a second recording from the same conversation that was released on Sunday is Mr. Sterling and that the hateful opinions voiced by that man are those of Mr. Sterling.
The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful; that they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage.
Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multicultural and multiethnic league.
I am personally distraught that the views expressed by Mr. Sterling came from within an institution that has historically taken such a leadership role in matters of race relations and caused current and former players, coaches, fans and partners of the NBA to question their very association with the league.
To them, and pioneers of the game like Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, Sweetwater Clifton, the great Bill Russell, and particularly Magic Johnson, I apologize. Accordingly, effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team.
He will also be barred from attending NBA Board of Governors meetings or participating in any other league activity.
I am also fining Mr. Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution. These funds will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and its Players Association.
As for Mr. Sterling’s ownership interest in the Clippers, I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team and will do everything in my power to ensure that that happens. This has been a painful moment for all members of the NBA family. I appreciate the support and understanding of our players during this process, and I am particularly grateful for the leadership shown by Coach Doc Rivers, Union President Chris Paul and Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, who has been acting as the players’ representative in this matter.
We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views. They simply have no place in the NBA.
Thank you, and I’ll take any questions.