The players in the National Basketball Association spoke out Sunday about racist comments attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
The Clippers players staged a silent protest. As they warmed up for an NBA playoff game, the players removed their warmup shirts bearing team logos to reveal red T-shirts worn inside out, with the logos hidden. They finished warming up, removed the red shirts and played the game wearing their regular uniforms.The National Basketball Players Association demanded Sterling be barred from all playoff games this season.
It’s a sad situation, when someone who’s livelihood depends on African Americans. This weekend we saw moving testimony from players and the like. Here are the 5 most moving ones.
NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was a Clippers special assistant coach in 2000, told CNN:
“I know him. I know his voice. I am not surprised by this very much. It’s repugnant attitude for someone to have, and for him to be an employer for so many people of color, it kind of blows your mind.”
Michael Jordan said:
As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. … As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA — or anywhere else — for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed.”
Magic Johnson gave an impassioned speech:
LeBron James says:
“If the reports are true, it’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable in our league. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, Hispanic, whatever, all across the races. It’s unacceptable and as a commissioner in our league, they have to make a stand, and they have to be very aggressive with it. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but you just can’t have that in our league. We’re the model citizens of all sports around the world and because we’re the most recognizable, I mean, it figures. You see us all the time, you see our logos, you see our players, and for an owner to come out and say the things that he said, it’s very disrespectful, it’s very appalling and one of my best friends and dear friends plays on his team in Chris Paul and I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to him but I can only imagine what’s going through his head.
President Obama weighed in with wonderful pearls of wisdom. At a news conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Sunday, President Obama was asked about the comments on the recording.
“When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk. That’s what happened here,” the President said.
Obama also said Sterling’s alleged comments are an example of how “the United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation.”
Early this afternoon there were rumors that a basketball legend was opting to buy the Clippers.