Donald Sterling has been trying for years to show how much he really cares for minorities.
His bio page on the Clippers website mentions numerous charitable foundations the team owner started and a variety of humanitarian awards he has received.
One such effort a few years back went horribly wrong, at least as far as the advertising campaign was concerned. Remember the ad above, which ran in the Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, sports section of The Times?
It was real nice of Sterling to celebrate Black History Month — too bad he chose to do so during the wrong month.
And it was great that he wanted to help underprivileged children — but unfortunate that the wording of the ad implied that “underprivileged” and “African American” are synonymous.
And the fact that one of the main images on an ad about celebrating black history and wanting to help underprivileged people is a giant photo of Sterling wearing a tux ... well, I really don’t know what to say about that.
This is a guy who once paid $2.73 million to settle housing discrimination allegations. And was once sued by former employee Elgin Baylor for having a “plantation mentality.” In Baylor’s court filings, Sterling was accused of bringing women into the locker room while the players were showering and saying, “Look at those beautiful black bodies.”
And now, of course, Sterling is purported to be the man making racist comments on a recording made public by TMZ over the weekend. The public is outraged. Clippers players even considered a boycott but ended up making a statement by wearing their warm-up shirts inside-out to conceal the team logo at Sunday’s game in Oakland.
Many are calling for Sterling to no longer be associated with the organization. Here’s what Times columnist Bill Plaschke wrote back in 2011, words that might ring even truer today:
“At this point, the only Donald Sterling ad that most Clippers fans can tolerate would be found in the classified section.