Oprah: Remarks tied to Donald Sterling show ‘plantation mentality’

Clippers owner Donald Sterling at a game this month between the Clippers and the New York Knicks in Los Angeles.
(Danny Moloshok / Associated Press)

The backlash against Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his reportedly racist comments against black people continued Tuesday, with Oprah Winfrey saying the statements reflected a “plantation mentality” and that he should be held accountable.

“It feels like a plantation mentality in the 21st century, in 2014. It just doesn’t fit,” Winfrey said on “CBS This Morning.” “I’m waiting to see what they’re going to do. Because something has to be done.”

Former Seattle Supersonics owner and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz echoed Winfrey’s comments on the show and said if it were up to him, Sterling would be banned from the league for life.


Arsenio Hall weighed in on his show, bringing out a giant cut-out of Sterling and asking members of his audience to take Instagram photos with it.

“If Donald Sterling was upset that his girlfriend was being Instagrammed with black people, imagine how upset he would be if there were pictures of him on Instagram with black people,” Arsenio said, referring to comments attributed to Sterling admonishing a friend for posting photos of herself with African Americans.

The celebrity website TMZ posted an audio recording Friday that purportedly captures Sterling telling a woman identified as V. Stiviano that “it bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people.” In the recording, the people identified as Stiviano and Sterling argue about a photo posted on Instagram showing her with Magic Johnson.

The recordings have generated widespread condemnation of Sterling, who so far has remained silent on the matter.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is expected to announce the outcome of an investigation into the recordings about at an 11 a.m. PDT news conference Tuesday.

Although NBA bylaws give the pro basketball league the power to oust owners in certain circumstances, experts said Silver would be more likely to hit the Clippers’ owner with a sizable fine and a lengthy suspension, perhaps with the intent of pressuring the real estate magnate to sell the franchise he has owned for 33 years.

On Monday, 15 Clippers advertisers said they were ending or suspending their sponsorship, although most expressed their continued support for the team’s players, coaches and fans.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday that banning Sterling from playoff games is “just the beginning of what should happen.”

Garcetti, who has said he would be happy to see a transition in ownership of the Clippers, is scheduled to speak after Silver makes his announcement.

Protestors are scheduled to gather outside Staples Center Tuesday evening to demonstrate against Sterling and his comments. The Clippers are currently tied with the Golden State Warriors 2-2 in their best-of-seven series.

Twitter: @josephserna