Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, stirred up controversy across the country with racist remarks caught on tape, and Prince George’s County, Md. residents joined many others nationwide in applauding the NBA’s severe punishment of Sterling.
Late last month, TMZ released an audiotape of Sterling, 80, making racist remarks to his girlfriend. In the tape, Sterling said things such as “Well then, if you don’t feel—don’t come to my games. Don’t bring Black people, and don’t come.”
“I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses,” Sterling said, referring to Clippers players. “Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them?”
In the resulting firestorm, Sterling was banned for life from any Clippers games, practices or anything team functions, and fined $2.5 million by new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Additionally, Silver said he would push the league’s other owners to force Sterling to sell his team.
Prince George’s County residents said they feel that Silver’s punishment is fair, and that there is no place for racism in the NBA.
“I’m glad Silver made the right choice,” Brandon Thomson of Glenarden, Md. told the AFRO. “I know this has to be a lot of pressure on him because he’s only been in office for about 3 months, but this is a good start for him.”
“I still can’t believe this man was still an owner in the NBA,” Justin Flowers of Largo, Md. told the AFRO. “He has a past of doing other offenses as well, too.”
In August 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Sterling for housing discrimination in using race as a factor in filling some of his apartment buildings. In February 2009, longtime Clippers executive Elgin Baylor sued Sterling for employment discrimination on the basis of age and race.
“There is no room for racism in this world,” John Phillips of District Heights, Md. said. “African Americans as a whole have come too far for us to still be looked down upon like this.”