With the Los Angeles Clippers on the brink of a first NBA title this season—before COVID-19 had other plans—it’s easy to forget that not too long ago, the team was mired in ineptitude for decades, courtesy of the worst owner in the history of professional sports: Donald Sterling.
He was notoriously cheap, harassed his own players and routinely invited women into the team’s locker room to fetishize his half-naked roster without their permission. He was a fucking weirdo racist and the league is much better without him. But in order to give him the boot, his mistress, V. Stiviano, had to expose him on tape saying a bunch of racist shit like “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people” and “Why are you taking pictures with minorities?”
Before Sterling was slapped with a lifetime ban from the league, the Clippers staged a silent protest in response. But like many others, I’ve always wondered how that situation played out behind the scenes. Did Clippers head coach Doc Rivers try to beat his ass? Did any of the players throw a chair or demand a trade? Well now, six years later, we’ll finally be getting some answers in the documentary Blackballed, set to premiere on Quibi on May 18.
‘Blackballed’ is a powerful documentary series that examines the cultural context of race in America through the lens of one of the most explosive events in recent sports history—the Donald Sterling expulsion. Now, for the first time on camera, Chris Paul, Doc Rivers, DeAndre Jordan, Adam Silver and JJ Redick, along with some of the biggest names from the worlds of sports, politics, business and media, explain how they asserted their power, leading to the most definitive and unprecedented punishment in sports history.
While we wait with bated breath for it to drop, here’s the trailer with a sneak peek at what we’ll all be in for.
Blackballed premieres on Quibi on May 18.