The NBA is investigating an audio recording posted online of
Clippers owner Donald Sterling allegedly telling his girlfriend not
to post photographs of herself with black people and not to bring
African-Americans to Clippers games, league officials said on
“When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance you don't
really have to do anything, you just let them talk,” Obama said when
asked about the controversy during a news conference in Kuala Lumpur
with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Obama said he was confident NBA Commissioner Adam Silver would deal
with the issue.
“Obviously the NBA is a league that is beloved by fans across the
country,” Obama, America’s first black president, said. “It’s got an
awful lot of African American players steeped in African American
He said the controversy was also an example of how the United States
continues to wrestle with the legacy of race, and he likened that
struggle to Malaysia’s effort to foster a harmonious multi-ethnic
Celebrity news site TMZ.com published the 10-minute recording on its
website late on Friday, describing it as a taped conversation
between the billionaire Sterling and a model who goes by the name V.
"The audio recording posted by TMZ is truly offensive and
disturbing, and we intend to get to the bottom of it as quickly as
possible," Silver said on Saturday night.
The recording was sharply criticized by civil rights leaders, fans
and players. It was not immediately clear when and how the
conversation was recorded.
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Silver said the league would move swiftly to determine the
authenticity of the recording and its context.
Clippers President Andy Roeser issued a statement saying they have
listened to the tape on TMZ.
“We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered. We do
know that the woman on the tape — who we believe released it to TMZ — is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family," the
statement said. “Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on
that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his
views, beliefs or feelings."
(Reporting By Matt Spetalnick; editing by Michael Perry)
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