While the world waits for the NBA’s announcement during a Tuesday press conference, the Los Angeles Clippers aren’t the only team protesting racist remarks made by their owner, Donald Sterling. A day after the Clippers players turned their shooting shirts inside out during pregame warmups and left their outer tops at mid-court, the Miami Heat did the same thing before their Game 4 first-round playoffs series against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Echoing Clippers yesterday, Heat come out for warmups, throw logo shirts down at midcourt & wear warm ups inside out pic.twitter.com/3bNQEd8woq
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) April 28, 2014
It’s only been one day since a recording of Sterling’s racist comments went viral, but already the league is seeing a chain reaction that is expanding beyond the Clippers’ organization. Miami always gets lots of attention because of its star power with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, so this is going to stir things back up while Tuesday’s announcement is still a day away.
Ex-players like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan have publicly expressed their displeasure with Sterling’s remarks and Clippers coach Doc Rivers has refused to talk to the owner of his team. While those actions alone speak volumes about the situation, the fact it’s spreading to other title-contending teams in the playoffs means it’s a bigger deal than everyone initially thought.
The speculation on Monday has been what the league will do disciplinary-wise in response to Sterling’s comments because the league can’t legally do just anything. However, with the protest and displeasure of the team and fans now spreading to other organizations, NBA commissioner Adam Silver may be forced to act swifter and harsher than he originally planned.