This past Friday TMZ released an audio recording involving Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball franchise, and his girlfriend. During the recording, Sterling went on a racist rant after his girlfriend, who is ironically of African American and Hispanic descent, uploaded a picture to her Instagram account with basketball legend Magic Johnson, who is African American. During the clip, Sterling issued the following statements, among others:
"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?"
“The little I ask you is not to promote it on [Instagram] . . . and not to bring [black people] to my games."
The news caused tremendous uproar, but was amplified because Sterling’s Clippers are in the middle of a playoff tournament against the Golden State Warriors. The players, the majority of whom are black, had to decide whether to suit up for their scheduled Sunday game or boycott the match until the NBA had established punitive action.
With the weight of the public and media on their shoulders to take action against their owner, the Clippers decided to still play their scheduled Sunday game, but had a personalized pre-game response to the news.