Reaction From Around The NBA To Donald Sterling’s Alleged Racist Rant

Donald Sterling

The alleged conversation between Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his girlfriend, V. Stiviano has erupted into a media firestorm. Magic Johnson and Kevin Hart have both said they will never patronize the Clippers as long as he is the owner. Miami Heat star LeBron James said there’s not place in the NBA for Donald Sterling, and Kobe Bryant said he couldn’t play for him. Even rapper Snoop Dogg came out in a profanity laced tirade against the owner. Check out some of the other reactions.

Chris Paul’s statement as NBA Player’s Association President:

“On behalf of the National Basketball Players Association, this is a very serious issue which we will address aggressively,” Paul, the president of the NBA Players Association, said in a statement. “We have asked Mayor Kevin Johnson to expand his responsibilities with the NBPA, to determine our response and our next steps. As players, we owe it to our teams and our fans to keep our focus on our game, the playoffs, and a drive to the Finals.”

Lebron James:

“Obviously, if the reports are true, it’s unacceptable in our league,” James said. “It doesn’t matter, white, black or Hispanic — all across the races it’s unacceptable. As the commissioner of our league they have to make a stand. They have to be very aggressive with it. I don’t know what it will be, but we can’t have that in our league.

 I’ve wavered back and forth if I would actually sit out, if our owner came out and said the things that he said. I would really have to sit down with my teammates, talk to my family, because at the end of the day, our family and our teammates are way more important than that. … But there’s no room for Donald Sterling in our league. There’s no room for him. 

“We’re the model citizen of all sports around the world because we are the most recognizable figures. … It’s very disrespectful and it’s appalling.”


NBA’s Official statement:

“We are in the process of conducting a full investigation into the audio recording obtained by TMZ,” the league said in a statement from spokesperson Mike Bass. “The remarks heard on the recording are disturbing and offensive, but at this time we have no further information.”

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is acting as a liason of sorts for the NBA Player’s Association since they are still in the process of finding a Director. He also released a statement on their behalf:

“The players wanted to ensure that Mr. Sterling does not attend any games for the Clippers or any other team for the duration of the playoffs,” Johnson said. “We’re confident that the commissioner understood that this is an enormous distraction for everyone, and we want the focus to really be on the games and what’s taking place on the court, and he certainly understood that.”

There is absolutely no place in the NBA family for ignorance, intolerance, reprehensible comments that are unacceptable and not fitting for what this league is all about,” Johnson said. “If what has been alleged and stated is authentic then there must be sanctions that make it clear that the NBA family will have zero tolerance for such conduct today, tomorrow or ever. 

“The players are waiting for the commissioner to act decisively,” Johnson said. “They want the maximum of what the constitution and bylaws will allow and we’re trying to figure out what that is. They want the maximum. They want a decision to be made quickly and decisively. If you don’t respect the players in this league, then the values that we all espouse are for naught.”

Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan:

“I look at this from two perspectives – as a current owner and a former player. As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly. 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…. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level.”

Magic spoke at length about it on ABC/ESPN’s NBA Countdown:


Clippers head coach Doc Rivers has two years left on his three year deal and has indicated that he isn’t sure what will happened next season

“Don’t know yet,” Rivers responded. “I’m just going to leave it at that.”