LA Clippers do a silent protest against owner Donald Sterling
The Los Angeles Clippers held a silent protest against owner Donald Sterling prior to Game 4 of a first-round playoff series against the Warriors on Sunday amid a controversy that has enveloped Sterling regarding racist comments he allegedly made in an audio recording.
Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the entire Clippers team took off their jackets and placed them at mid-court during warm-ups, revealing team t-shirts that had been turned inside out so that the team’s logo and name were not visible. The team also wore blue jerseys with the words “Los Angeles” across the chest rather than a jersey design that bore the word “Clippers,” and donned black socks.
The Clippers warm up with inside-out shirts. (Noah Graham/Getty Images)
Sterling was allegedly caught on tape scolding V. Stiviano, his girlfriend, for bringing African-Americans to Clippers games and for posting photos of herself and African-Americans, including Lakers legend Magic Johnson, to her Instagram account.
The Los Angeles Daily News reported that the Clippers players held a team meeting to discuss Sterling’s comments on Saturday.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Saturday that his team would play Game 4, rather than boycott the game, and said that he isn’t looking to clear the air with Sterling.
“A lot of guys voiced their opinions, none of them were happy about it,” Rivers said, according to ESPNLA.com. “It has an impact and you move on. It upsets all of us. There’s not one guy that’s happy with this situation. … We’re playing and we’re playing Golden State and Golden State is our enemy now. [Sterling and I] have not [talked] and we have not tried honestly. We don’t need a talk, alright. We don’t need that.”
Paul, who happens to be the president of the National Basketball Players Association, issued a statement on Saturday.
“On behalf of the National Basketball Players Association, this is a very serious issue which we will address aggressively,” Paul said. “We have asked [Sacramento] Mayor Kevin Johnson to expand his responsibilities with the NBPA, to determine our response and our next steps. As players, we owe it to our teams and our fans to keep our focus on our game, the playoffs, and a drive to the Finals.”
On Saturday, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan posted an all-black, caption-less photo to Instagram on Saturday, an apparent silent protest against Sterling.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver pledged Saturday to investigate Sterling’s alleged comments, with action expected to come within the next few days.
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