Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clippers play on, silently protest Sterling amid furor

Two Warriors fans at Sunday’s game mock Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who is accused of making racist comments.


Two Warriors fans at Sunday’s game mock Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who is accused of making racist comments.

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Clippers chose not to speak publicly about owner Donald Sterling before they faced the Warriors in Sunday's Game 4 of their playoff series. Instead, they made a silent protest to generate attention.

In response to Sterling's purported comments urging a woman not to bring black people to his team's games, the Clippers let their uniforms become a show of solidarity.

They ran out of the tunnel wearing their usual warmups. Then they huddled at center court and tossed the outer layer to the ground, going through their pregame routine with their red Clippers' shirts on inside out to hide the team's logo.

Players also wore black wristbands or armbands during the game, which they lost 118-97. They also donned black socks.

"It's just us, only us. We're all we got," Clippers point guard Chris Paul could be heard shouting to teammates before they ran out.

The Warriors' announced sellout of 19,596 booed the Clips — as always — during introductions.

Sterling's wife, Rochelle, sat courtside across from the team's bench. She told ESPN: "I don't condone those statements, and I don't believe in them. I'm not a racist. Never have been, never will be. The team is the most important thing to my family."

Commissioner Adam Silver had said Donald Sterling would not be at the game.

A recording, purportedly of Sterling and released by TMZ, is the latest in a series of allegations of racial and gender discrimination against Sterling, a real estate mogul and the longest-tenured team owner in a league whose player pool is more than three-quarters African-American.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said before the game he would be the only one to speak for the team on the issue because players wanted to focus on basketball.

But Rivers said all options were discussed before the game, even a player boycott. "Our message is to play," Rivers said. "Our message is that we're going to let no one and nothing stop us from what we want to do."

Condemnation of Sterling came from far and wide, from inside the NBA and out.

"When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk," President Barack Obama said. "That's what happened here."

"As an owner, I'm obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views," Bobcats owner Michael Jordan said.

Sterling was to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP next month, but the organization said it has rescinded the award.

Lakers star Kobe Bryant wrote on his Twitter page that he couldn't play for Sterling. Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who played for the Clippers from 1992-94, said he could forgive Sterling but couldn't play for him right now, either.

The audio purportedly catches Sterling arguing with a female friend, identified as V. Stiviano, criticizing her for posting pictures of herself online with black men, including former Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.

"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people," a voice, said to belong to Sterling, is heard to say on the recording.

Rochelle Sterling last month filed a lawsuit against Stiviano, saying she owed the Sterlings money because her husband showered Stiviano with millions of dollars' worth of gifts.

Johnson said he would never attend another Clippers game as long as Sterling owned the club and called for the league to "come down hard," even saying Sterling should be ousted from the league.

Clippers play on, silently protest Sterling amid furor 04/27/14 [Last modified: Monday, April 28, 2014 12:09am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs: Quick and easy fixes for what ails Tampa Bay?


    The Bucs are 2-4 and have lost five straight road games, so there's plenty to fix. What's the quickest and easiest fix for coach Dirk Koetter and Tampa Bay? The Times' Bucs coverage team weighs in:


    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, seen during the first half, had a heck of a day calling plays, Tom Jones writes. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  3. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play


    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  4. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  5. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170