The Jewish owner of a major professional basketball team in the United States is the subject of controversy over the weekend after he was caught on tape supposedly making racist statements.
Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise, is heard telling his girlfriend “not to bring black people” to basketball games. The recording of these remarks was obtained by the gossip site TMZ.
“Why are you taking pictures with minorities? Why?” Sterling asks his girlfriend, a woman of black-Mexican extraction who goes by the name V. Stiviano. “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people,” he adds. “Do you have to?”
“You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want,” he says. “The little I ask you is not to promote it … and not to bring them to my games.
According to TMZ, Sterling admonished Stiviano for taking photographs with Lakers legend Magic Johnson.
Born Donald Tokowitz, Sterling made his fortune in real estate before purchasing the San Diego Clippers. His teams have traditionally fared poorly, though this season they are considered a championship contender.
Sterling has invited controversy in the past for making inflammatory statements. According to ESPN, Sterling paid millions of dollars to settle a 2005 lawsuit alleging that he engaged in discriminatory rental practices.