The Los Angeles Clippers released a statement in response to allegations its owner Donald Sterling made racist comments in an audio recording released Friday by the website TMZ.
TMZ claimed the tape stemmed from an April argument between Sterling and his girlfriend, with the Clippers owner upset she posted a photo of her and Magic Johnson to her Instagram account.
“You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in. You can do whatever you want,” the voice TMZ attributed to Sterling said. “The little I ask is not to promote it on that … and not to bring them to my games.”
Following considerable outrage from NBA players and fans alike, the team has finally responded to the controversy, questioning the legitimacy of the tape and insinuating its release is part of a woman’s plot to “get even” with Sterling.
“We do not know if it is legitimate or [if] it has been altered,” Clippers President Andy Roeser said in a statement to the L.A. Times. “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 alleging that she embezzled more than $US1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would “get even.'”
The NBA has said it has launched an investigation into the remarks.
Here’s the full statement from Clippers President Andy Roeser, via the L.A. Times:
“We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or [if] 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 alleging that she embezzled more than $US1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would “get even.” 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 apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them. He is also upset and apologizes for sentiments attributed to him about Earvin [Magic] Johnson. He has long considered Magic a friend and has only the utmost respect and admiration for him — both in terms of who he is and what he has achieved. We are investigating this matter.”
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