Barack Obama, Basketball Players React to Donald Sterling's Alleged Racist Comments
Even President Barack Obama is weighing in on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
“When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk. And that’s what happened here,” Obama said Sunday at a news conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, reports Sports Illustrated.
He continued: “The NBA is a league that is beloved by fans all across the country. It’s got an awful lot of African-American players. It’s steeped in African-American culture. And I suspect that the NBA is going to be deeply concerned in resolving this.”
Sterling, who allegedly made racially charged comments in an audio recording obtained and released by TMZ, has also earned reactions from some of the biggest names in basketball.
Magic Johnson called upon the NBA to “come down hard” on Sterling, even saying that the longtime owner of the Los Angeles Clippers should essentially be ousted from the league.
“He shouldn’t own a team anymore,” Johnson said Sunday, according to the Associated Press.
He echoed that sentiment on Twitter:
Michael Jordan said he’s both disgusted and outraged by the racist comments allegedly made by the Los Angeles Clippers owner.
Jordan, now the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, released a statement Sunday addressing the matter. He said that as an owner, “I’m completely disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views.”
As a former player, Jordan says, “I’m completely outraged.”
More basketball players weighed in on Twitter, including Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant. “I couldn’t play for him,” he Tweeted.
Added Metta World Peace: “Racism is a mental health disease. Seek help.”
And über-fan Billy Crystal, who is often courtside for games, Tweeted: