In an audio recording, released by celebrity gossip site
FOR THE RECORD:
This article says Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement "condemning the billionaire." In fact, the statement condemned the alleged remarks of the billionaire.
"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people," Sterling allegedly says, later adding, "I'm just saying, in your … Instagrams, you don't have to have yourself with, walking with black people.
"Don't put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games."
The release of the recording came after the Clippers' best regular season and on the eve of Game 4 of the first-round playoff series with the
Los Angeles Mayor
"I think the biggest statement we can make as men — not as black men, as men — is to stick together and show how strong we are as a group, not splinter, not walk," Rivers said. "It's easy to protest. The protest will be in our play."
Silver would not comment what action the league would take if an investigation establishes Sterling made the comment. But it could include a hefty fine or suspension. A demand that he sell the team is unlikely.
TMZ did not say how it obtained the recording. The Times has not verified the recording for its authenticity.
The woman on the recording, who identifies herself as Mexican and black, was said to be V. Stiviano, who is in her 20s and who has often been seen at Sterling's side. In a lawsuit filed last month, Sterling's wife, Rochelle, contends her husband showered Stiviano in money and expensive cars, and that he had been having an affair with her for four years.
Clippers President Andy Roeser released a statement that questioned the authenticity of the recording and the motives of Stiviano, who he noted is the defendant in Rochelle Sterling's $1.8-million embezzlement case.
Roeser claimed that after the lawsuit was filed, Stiviano told Donald Sterling that she would "get even." The team executive also said what was stated on the recording "is not consistent with, nor does it reflect [Sterling's] views, beliefs or feelings."
Rivers said he would speak for his Clippers players regarding the controversy. During a 45-minute team meeting Saturday morning, he said, his players voiced their displeasure over the remarks.
"No one was happy about it," Rivers said at the practice court at the University of San Francisco, before alluding to the unity among his white and black players. "
Players considered wearing black socks or armbands in protest during Sunday's game but worried about being viewed as radical. Center
Rivers said the idea of boycotting a game was raised but quickly dismissed.
"Honestly, I'm completely against that and they were too," Rivers said of his players. "Why should we let someone's comments stop what we're trying to do?"
Sterling has not addressed his team.
Paul, the Clippers point guard and president of the NBA players' union, issued a statement calling the remarks "a very serious issue which we will address aggressively." Paul said he had asked Sacramento Mayor
Other NBA stars weren't as restrained. Miami's James told reporters in Charlotte, N.C., that "there's no room for Donald Sterling in the NBA." Hall of Famer
Johnson tweeted he and his wife would never go to a Clippers game again as long as Sterling owned the team.
"I feel sorry for my friends Coach Doc Rivers and Chris Paul that they have to work for a man that feels that way about African Americans," Johnson tweeted. "LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling's comments about African Americans are a black eye for the NBA."
Former Clippers point guard
the Team … 4 playin above it all."
In 2009, Sterling agreed to pay $2.73 million to settle allegations by the government that he refused to rent apartments to Hispanics, blacks and families with children in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles.
Former Clippers General Manager
Former Clippers guard
Mayor Garcetti denounced the owner, saying Sterling's alleged remarks were "offensive and despicable and have no place in Los Angeles. I urge the NBA to act swiftly. L.A. fans demand and deserve better."
The Los Angeles chapter of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People had been scheduled to give Sterling the group's lifetime achievement award at a May 15 banquet.
In the lawsuit filed in L.A. County Superior Court on March 7, Sterling's wife of more than 50 years paints Stiviano as an opportunist who seduces older wealthy men and persuades them to shower her with gifts. According to the suit, Sterling and Stiviano began an affair after meeting at the 2010 Super Bowl game and were still in a relationship as of the filing date.
Rochelle Sterling alleges her husband used community property to buy Stiviano a 2012 Ferrari, two Bentleys and a 2013 Range Rover, worth a total of more than $500,0000.
Sterling also gave Stiviano $1.8 million to buy a duplex on West 4th Street near the Beverly Center last December, according to the suit, which claims Sterling additionally provided her with $240,000 for upkeep and living expenses.
Arguing the gifts were all made without Rochelle Sterling's knowledge or consent, the complaint seeks their return along with compensatory damages.
Roeser, the Clippers' executive, said in his statement that Sterling "feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them.
"He is also upset and apologizes for sentiments attributed to him about Earvin Johnson. He has long considered