Reverend Al Sharpton is threatening to protest the NBA if L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling is not dealt with immediately for his racist comments.
"No one should be allowed to own a team if they have in fact engaged in this kind of racial language," said the civil rights activist to TMZ Sports.
Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, is calling for the league to make an investigation into Sterling immediately and said, "We are prepared at National Action Network to rally in front of the NBA headquarters if this matter is not immediately dealt with."
Sterling is under heavy fire after berating his girlfriend for hanging out with black people in public and telling her not to bring black people to his games after she posted a photo of herself with Magic Johnson on her Instagram. The comments came in a recording taped by his girlfriend.
— KTLA 5 Morning News (@KTLAMorningNews) April 28, 2014
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) April 28, 2014
“I’m totally outraged that they are stalling on this,” Sharpton said in a telephone interview to Bloomberg. “It does not take an investigation. Either he is the man on the tape or not. And he has not said unequivocally that he is not.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement that everyone should be allowed due process.
“All members of the NBA family should be afforded due process and a fair opportunity to present their side of any controversy. The core of the investigation is understanding whether the tape is authentic, interviewing Mr. Sterling and interviewing the woman as well and understanding the context in which it was recorded," said Silver in the statement.
An outpouring of disgust over Sterling's comments is rampant on social media.
Donald Sterling's racist remarks? What he's been saying for yrs. I think he should be stripped of his championship rings. All zero of them.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) April 27, 2014
V. Stiviano being able to call Donald Sterling honey/sweetie AFTER he said all that is almost as repulsive as Sterling himself. #ENDracism
— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) April 27, 2014
Clive Bundy and Donald Sterling show that Justice Sotomayor is right: race matters. http://t.co/8u8FllvZY1
— imarajones (@imarajones) April 28, 2014
Sterling's words are appalling, no question. But aren't his purported actions towards black/Hispanic/Korean families far, far worse?
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) April 28, 2014
Donald Sterling is another example of how being wealthy has little to do with common sense and intelligence. Wow just listened to the tapes
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) April 28, 2014
Lmaoo Golden State fans trolling Clippers owner Donald Sterling pic.twitter.com/ugXOIM5D7I
— Basketball Vines (@HoopVine) April 28, 2014
Image via YouTube