NBA greats Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson are outraged by alleged racist comments made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson are among the individuals outraged by alleged racist comments made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
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Both Jordan and Johnson say racist comments of such a nature have no place in the NBA, per an April 27 ESPN update:
"Basketball legends Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan both voiced harsh criticism in response to racist comments purportedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
"Johnson, speaking Sunday on ABC's playoff pregame show, said he wants NBA commissioner Adam Silver 'to come down hard' on Sterling."
Johnsol also told ABC (via ESPN) Sterling should be stripped of his ownership role as diversity is "what makes sports so beautiful."
"He shouldn't own a team anymore.
"I had a friendship with him. So for him to then make these comments, about myself as well as other African-Americans and minorities, there's no place in our society for it. There's no place in our league, because we all get along.
"We all play with different races of people when you're in sports. That's what makes sports so beautiful."
Johnson also told The Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke in an April 26 phone interview he will never attend another Clippers game.
"I will never again set foot in Staples Center when the Clippers are playing. I know where I'm not wanted.
"Something has to be done, and if that means losing the team, then that has to happen. The league has to come down hard and make a statement.
"This is so crazy, he doesn't want African-Americans to come to his game, he doesn't want them to be part of anything over there, yet he wants his team of mostly African-Americans to win him a championship?
"You don't want us in your building, but you want us to win a title for you?
"There are African-Americans in this building, African-Americans buying his season tickets, African-Americans putting money in his pockets, yet he doesn't want them near him?
"He tells them don't bother to come, he doesn't want them in his arena? In the most diverse city in the United States? How can somebody like that be running a sports team?"
For his part, Jordan, perhaps the most celebrated athlete in NBA history, is just as apalled as Johnson. He offered two perspectives -- as a former player with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards and as current owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, according to a statement obtained by ESPN.
"As an owner, I'm obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I'm confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly. As a former player, I'm completely outraged.
"There is no room in the NBA -- or anywhere else -- for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed.
"I am apalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of sport. In a league where the majority or players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level."
In an exclusive audio acquired by Deadspin, Sterling was allegedly having a conversation with his girlfriend V. Stiviano and let loose several racist comments.
"Well then, if you don't feel -- don't come to my games. Don't bring black people, and don't come.
"You just, do I know? I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them?
"Do I know that I have -- Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?"
As a sign of protest over the racist allegations, the Clippers "tossed their warm-up jackets with the Clippers name on front to midcourt and then warmed up with their shooting shirts inside out" prior to Game 4 of their opening-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. on April 27, per Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears.
Spears also adds the Clippers were mulling over boycotting Game 4 but decided to play at the last minute.
Behind Stephen Curry's 33 points and career playoff-high seven three-pointers, Golden State beat Los Angeles 118-97 to knot the series at two games apiece.
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