Matt Kemp woke up Sunday morning to suddenly find himself linked to the Donald Sterling scandal, as TMZ released another audio clip said to be of the Clippers owner speaking to his girlfriend. In the recording, the man purported to be Sterling voices displeasure about the woman’s Instagram pictures of her with African Americans, including Kemp.
“Racism is kind of old, for real,” Kemp said. “Honestly, I just feel sorry for him, that he feels that way about African American people.”
Kemp is friends with Clippers players Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.
“I feel sorry for my boys on that team that have to play for a guy like that,” Kemp said. “Chris and Blake and all those guys. Where we come from, it’s not acceptable. But it is what it is. You can’t get mad at somebody for believing what they believe. That’s his own opinion.”
Asked what he thought it would be like to play for someone like Sterling, Kemp replied, “It would be tough. I would figure out a way not to be in that situation any more.”
Kemp agreed with Lakers legend and Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson’s opinion that Sterling should be forced to sell the Clippers.
Kemp said it would be “tough” for him to continue attending Clippers games if Sterling remained the team’s owner.
Asked if he would consider attending their games if Sterling is suspended by the NBA, Kemp replied, “Honestly, what is a suspension going to do for an owner? He still owns the team. He’s still making money. You fine him? He’s a billionaire. What’s fining him going to do? That’s not really going to do anything.
“This is bigger than the game. I’m shocked people still feel that way towards Latins, blacks, white people. We’re all the same. We all bleed the same. We’re all the same people. It really doesn’t make any sense.”
Kemp recalled taking a picture with Sterling’s female friend.
“I remember taking a picture but I didn’t think it would ever come to y’all talking about this. It’s crazy, man,” Kemp said. “One picture and I get linked to it. It’s crazy. I guess you have to be careful who you take pictures with now -– or just don’t take pictures. Tell everybody. If I don’t take a picture, don’t take it personal. I’ll give you an autograph, no more pictures.”