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Oprah Winfrey on Donald Sterling: ‘It feels like a plantation mentality’

As the nation awaits to see what actions the NBA will take against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling after he was recorded making shocking racist statements, Oprah Winfrey became the latest celebrity to speak out on Sterling. She did so on CBS “This Morning” on Tuesday when asked if she had been following the story.

Actress/TV personality Oprah Winfrey attends the 45th NAACP Image Awards presented by TV One at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 22, 2014 in Pasadena, California.
(Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)

Oprah answered the question immediately saying, “of course I’ve been following this story. It feels like a plantation mentality in the 21st century, in 2014, it just doesn’t fit. And, I’m waiting to see what they’re going to do, because something has to be done.”

The NBA is expected to announce what actions, if any, will be taken against Sterling on Tuesday when the league will hold a press conference. Like other celebrities, politicians and athletes who have weighed in, Oprah believes action has to be taken immediately. She reiterated her feelings on the situation and towards Sterling while leaving CBS after her appearance on the show.

When TMZ Sports caught up with Oprah, she continued firing at the Clippers owner, saying, “We’re off the plantation! The plantation days are over!” Oprah went on to tell TMZ that the ideal resolution would be for Sterling to sell the team to Magic Johnson, who he named in the recording as someone he didn’t want his girlfriend bringing to his game.

As the controversy continues to stir conversation in sports and throughout the nations, Sterling’s team is in the middle of the playoffs. Former players contend that they would not be playing if they were on the team now and current head coach Doc Rivers has stated that he is unsure about his future with the Clippers and declined to have a conversation with Sterling. Rivers is hoping NBA commissioner Adam Silver sends a message by taking whatever action allowed by the league’s constitution.

“This is a very important decision. I hope it’s a very strong message, and I believe that it will be. Other than that, I am going to let the league do what it needs to do,” said Rivers who also stated that he believed Sterling meant exactly what he was heard saying on the recording. As Oprah Winfrey and other figures believe actions are needed to send a message, Tuesday will be also represent a defining moment for the Los Angeles Clippers as a franchise, the NBA and an entire nation.

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