In an interview with “GQ” magazine, comedian Dave Chappelle said he thinks the end result of the Donald Sterling fiasco wasn’t quite fair.
“Ultimately, I don’t think he should have lost his team,” Chappelle said. “I don’t like the idea that someone could record a secret conversation and that a person could lose their assets from that, even though I think what he said was awful.”
An audiotape featuring Sterling, the Clippers’ former owner, making racially charged remarks was released to the media during the Clippers’ playoff run last season.
The fallout was sharp and fast.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from having any association with the league, fined him $2.5 million and urged the Board of Governors to force the sale of the team.
Former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer eventually bought the team for a record $2 billion.
In the December issue of CQ, in which he is featured as one of the magazine’s 2014 men of the year, Chappelle says that because the recording that led to Sterling’s undoing was made in private, it’s not OK that it was used against him.
The comedian added that if recordings of his own provite remarks were made public, he “may not have anything in a few years.”
Before his interview with GQ, Chappelle used Sterling as a punch line during a performance in June at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. He joked that an old white man being racist was “absolutely stunning.”
Interestingly enough, in another GQ story, Blake Griffin, the Clippers’ star power forward, said he has dabbled with writing for a Chappelle collaborator.
“My buddy Neal Brennan, who co-created ‘Chappelle’s Show,’ he sends me stuff,” Griffin told GQ. “It’s more of like a favor. He sends me stuff, and he’s like, ‘Punch this up.’ And I don’t know what I’m doing, but I try.”
Griffin likened Sterling to a “weird uncle” in a story he wrote recently for the Players’ Tribune and said he had always been uncomfortable with the long-documented allegations of racism against Sterling.