Donald Sterling: Social media explodes with cries of ‘racist’
Twitter has some hot new hash tags -- “Sterling,” “Sterling racist” and “boycottclippers.”
Such is some of the fallout on social media following a report that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling made racist remarks during an argument with a friend. The NBA has launched an investigation.
On his Twitter account, Magic Johnson called Sterling’s comments a “black eye for the NBA,” stating that he would never go to a Clippers game again as long as Sterling is the team’s owner.
“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 wrote.
Some suggested the public respond by going after Sterling’s pocketbook.
Mark Gray, host of a sports talk show at WJFK-FM 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C., tweeted, "@NBA has to hit @LAClippers owner Donald Sterling with the hardest penalty ever. Take his team!”
The blowback comes after TMZ reported late Friday on an audio recording that allegedly captures Sterling telling a friend earlier this month that he was upset she had posted a picture of herself next to Johnson, the former Lakers great.
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people,” Sterling says, according to the recording. “I’m just saying, in your … Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people.”
Also on the tape: “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 reaction has been swift, strong and nonstop.
At halftime during TNT’s coverage of Game Four of the Hawks-Pacers series, retired NBA player Charles Barkley on Saturday chimed in, saying Sterling needs to be suspended and fined.
“You can’t have a guy making a statement like that,” he said. “We cannot have an NBA owner discriminating against a league ... We’re a black league.”
Throughout social media the reactions have come from the famous and not so famous.
Actress Mia Farrow simply tweeted out the hash tag “boycottclippers” with no further comment.
Jeremy Treat, a professor at Biola University and a pastor, was one of those who tweeted about the sports connection to the Sterling affair: “Racial discrimination in our country often comes to the surface through sports. We still have a long way to go.”
ESPN sports writer Chris Broussard tweeted: “Donald Sterling has the mentality of an antebellum slave master: he makes $ off Blacks but doesn’t see them as equals deserving of respect.”
Broussard followed that with another comment, this time addressed to the Clippers: “I would not criticize LAC players for playing, but I would love to see them (and the Warriors) boycott the games until Sterling is removed.”
Former NBA star James Worthy was among current and former athletes to comment. “I know coaches & players play for each other & especially THE FANS, but it would be hard for me to play another game for Sterling,” he tweeted.
Figures in the entertainment industry quickly weighed, including the rapper Snoop Dogg, whose response, packed with four-letter words, can’t be printed in its entirety here.
Comedian Kevin Hart, like many others commenting Saturday, was blunt: “Donald T. Sterling is flat out racist….He will never see another dollar from me!!! This is disgusting….he has a slave master mentality!!!! This is disturbing and unbelievably sad!!! I feel for my close friends that play for this Racist because of the position that this puts him in!!!”
Then in a nod to the identifying hash tags used on Twitter, Hart added, "#Racist #ScumBag #Racist #ScumBag #Racist #ScumBag.”
Must-read stories from the L.A. Times
Get all the day's most vital news with our Today's Headlines newsletter, sent every weekday morning.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.