It had been rumored that the Los Angeles Clippers players wouldn’t take the court against the Golden State Warriors for Game 4 of their NBA playoff game after a leaked recording, of what has been reported as the Clippers owner spewing racist remarks, hit the news.
Their coach, Doc Rivers, assured Clippers fans that he was just as concerned as they were and that they weren’t playing to win a championship for owner Donald Sterling but rather the city and the fans and as such, the players would be there.
Adam Silver, the new NBA commissioner, announced that Sterling wouldn’t be in attendance. And in a show of silent solidarity, the Clippers walked onto the court at Oracle Arena and discarded their warm-up jackets at midcourt. They then went through their pregame routine wearing red Clippers T-shirts turned inside out so the team logo couldn’t be seen. Players also wore black wristbands or armbands and socks during the game, which they lost 118-97.
After the game, players continued to “no comment” their way through the controversy as Coach Rivers told the media that he would be the lone voice of the players so as not to break their concentration during the playoffs.
According to NBA.com, after the game, Rivers said he knew what his players had planned and that he wasn’t thrilled about it, but didn’t voice his opinion and didn’t care to elaborate further.
Rivers acknowledged that maintaining focus has been difficult since the recording of what has been reported as the Clippers owner has been released. On the recording, a man can be heard telling a woman not to bring blacks to “his games” and criticized her for posting a photo of herself with Magic Johnson on Instagram.
“Why are you taking pictures with minorities? Why?” a man’s voice asks.
The woman, who has been reported to be a V. Stiviano, replies: “People call you and tell you that I have black people on my Instagram, and it bothers you?”
Man: “Yeah, it bothers me a lot that you want to promo … broadcast that you’re associating with black people.”