TMZ Sports has obtained audio of Sterling telling his girlfriend, V. Stiviano – who is black and Mexican --, that he does not want her bringing black people to his games. V. Stiviano, who is black and Mexican, posted a picture of her with Magic Johnson on Instagram, which TMZ has said has since been removed.
The following is a snippet of the audio from April 9, the man is believed to be Sterling.
"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to? ....You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games."
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league is in the process of conducting a full investigation into the audio recording obtained by TMZ. He added that the remarks heard on the recording are disturbing and very offensive, but the NBA does not have any further information at the present time.
African-Americans make up 86 percent of the Clippers current roster and four of the team’s six primary coaches are also African –Americans, including head coach Doc Rivers.
While news of Sterling making such ignorant comments come as no surprise – he has a well documented history of making racist comments --, the timing couldn’t be worse for the Clippers.
The Clippers, who are up 2-1 in their first round series against the Golden State Warriors, reportedly held a team meeting in regards to the audio but there has been no official comment. Game Four of the series is on April 27 in Oakland and Game Five is set for April 29 in Los Angeles. Rev. Al Sharpeton’s National Action Network, Jacky Johnson, is expected to protest outside the Staples Center on Tuesday night.
Sterling, the league’s longest tenured owner, has been sued twice by the federal government for allegedly refusing to rent apartments to Blacks and Latinos. He has also sued by former Clippers exec Elgin Baylor for racial discrimination.