RACE ROW: Donald Sterling is at the centre of alleged racist remarks (PA)
AMERICAN PRESIDENT Barack Obama has become one of the latest high-profile black figures to criticise the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers over his alleged racist remarks about ethnic minorities.
Team owner Donald Sterling, 80, whipped up a race storm after he was secretly recorded making comments to his girlfriend on the subject of associating herself with black people.
He is heard on the April 9 recording telling her: “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people.
“I'm just saying, in your… Instagrams, you don't have to have yourself with, walking with black people.”
The man identified as Sterling is then heard to single out former basketball star Magic Johnson to his partner Vanessa Stiviano, 38, saying: “Don't put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games.”
CRITICISM: Obama (PA)
Obama branded the remarks as “incredibly offensive”, and added: “When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk. That's what happened here”.
The 54-year-old Johnson, whose real name is Earvin, said on social media that he would boycott all Clippers games as long as Sterling is owner. On Twitter he said: “I will never go to a Clippers game again as long as Donald Sterling is the owner.”
In reaction to the leaked recording of the voice allegedly belonging to Sterling, Clippers president Andy Roeser said in a statement: “Mr Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings.
“It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life. He feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologises to anyone who might have been hurt by them.”