Not only was Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling among the worst owners in professional sports history, he sadly has become one of the most controversial. A TMZ report recently found audio of the Clippers owner who, in a rant to his girlfriend on April 9th, told her not to bring black people to Clippers games. Not only does this scream of blatant racism, but it also diverts any momentum that the Clippers have gained this season.
With the crosstown Los Angeles Lakers becoming a shell of themselves this season, the Clippers, led by new coach Doc Rivers and superstars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, became the must-see NBA team in Los Angeles and had one of their better seasons in recent memory. After earning an impressive road win against the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series, Sterling’s comments come not only at the wrong time in the press, but at the wrong time in the Clippers’ season.
Prominent African Americans like Jesse Jackson and Magic Johnson have taken to social media to even suggest a Clippers boycott of their upcoming Game 4 contest against the Warriors due to their owner’s dumb comments. Jackson has called for a “symbolic expression” in protest of Sterling while Johnson has even called for African-Americans to boycott Clippers games until Sterling steps down as owner.
All in all, no one obviously won in this case. The Clippers are being talked about now in a negative light rather than being celebrated for having a very successful season. The NBA looks bad as one of their owners pretty much condemned a majority of the population that makes up most of the league (African Americans) and Sterling lost even more as his already-damaged reputation gets even worse now.
In my opinion, Sterling should, for the sake of the Clippers organization, the NBA, and himself, step down as owner of the team, but since Sterling hasn’t cared abut what other people have thought about him for decades, he will likely not fulfill this request.