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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is in hot water yet again after making racist comments to his girlfriend over an audio recording.
According to the audio recording, which was distributed by TMZ, Sterling’s displeasure with his girlfriend stems from a picture she posted on Instagram with NBA legend Magic Johnson. The girlfriend, who identifies herself as black and Mexican on the recording, cannot understand the magnitude of the problem or what the problem really is in Sterling’s mind.
Sterling tells the woman that she can do as she pleases with black people, but “not in public” and repeatedly asks her how she benefits from associating with people of color.
When the girlfriend asks Sterling what is wrong with minorities, he responds, “It’s like talking to an enemy. There’s nothing wrong with minorities, they’re fabulous. Fabulous. Because you’re an enemy to me…because you don’t understand.”
Several times during the conversation, the girlfriend apologizes for the color of her skin and states that she would change it if she could and Sterling tells her that her skin color is not an issue, that the public perceives her as a white or Latina and that is how she could carry herself.
In the end, Sterling tells her girlfriend not to bring black people to his games and names Magic Johnson specifically. When asked if it would be different if she’d posed with Larry Bird, Sterling is silent.
This is far from the first time that Sterling has garnered himself media attention for racist comments. In 2006, Sterling was sued over a housing dispute because he allegedly would not rent apartments to black people, stating that “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.” During the suit, he also said he didn’t like renting to Latinos because, “Hispanics smoke, drink and just hang around the building,” according to The LA Times.
Sterling was also sued by former NBA player and Clippers executive Elgin Baylor in 2009. Baylor alleged he’d been discriminated against on the grounds of race and age.
It is unknown if NBA will take any action against Sterling for his racist comments, but other team owners have been fined and suspended over comments they made about certain races in the past. Given the way things have gone in the past, it is likely this will be swept under the rug and Sterling will be allowed to continue thinking his racism is acceptable. However, given the media coverage and massive outrage toward Sterling, the public is hopeful that he will be held responsible for his comments.