While everyone awaits NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision—expected sometime Tuesday—regarding the purported racist ramblings of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson is calling for an L.A. boycott of Game 5 of the playoffs.
In what would be L.A.’s first home game since the recordings were leaked to TMZ, Jackson believes both Clippers and Warriors fans should sit Tuesday’s game out.
“If it was me, I wouldn’t come to the game. I believe as fans, the loudest statement they could make as far as fans is to not show up to the game,” said Jackson on Monday, according to the New York Daily News. “As an African-American man that’s a fan of the game of basketball and knows its history and knows what’s right and what’s wrong, I would not come to the game tomorrow, whether I was a Clipper fan or a Warrior fan.”
As Jackson clearly voiced his displeasure with Sterling’s alleged comments, Clippers coach Doc Rivers continued to struggle with the media onslaught, the turmoil surrounding the fallout and managing a team in crisis. Speaking with the media Monday after canceling practice, Rivers, in his first year of a three-year $21 million contract, said that he had slept as little as 45 minutes since the recordings were released over the weekend.
ESPN reported that Rivers declined to speak one-on-one with Sterling and wasn’t sure if he would return to coach the team next year. He also told reporters that he believes that the voice on the recordings and the feelings expressed were indeed Sterling’s.
“I still want to make sure [the recording] hasn’t been doctored, but yes,” Rivers said, “… as far as believing those things, I heard what he said. Until someone tells me differently, you usually listen to what people say. I haven’t given him his due process. I haven’t given him an opportunity to explain himself and quite honestly right now don’t want him to, or don’t want him to to me. I’ll wait for that further judgment.”
“These last 48 hours or more have been really hard for our players and for everyone,” Rivers said. “I would just like to reiterate how disappointed I am in the comments attributed to our owner, and I can’t tell you how upset I am and our players are.”
On Monday, the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, Leon Jenkins, said at a news conference that not only would the civil rights group no longer honor Sterling with would have been a second lifetime achievement award, but that the chapter would return all donations made by Sterling, according to the Associated Press.
Jenkins would not say how much money Sterling had donated or specify how much money the chapter planned to give back, AP reported.
Sterling had been scheduled to receive the latest lifetime achievement honor May 15 as a part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Los Angeles branch of the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. Sterling had been selected to receive the award because of his history of donating basketball tickets to inner-city children and making contributions to minority charities, Jenkins told reporters.