On the anniversary of the Los Angeles riots, protesters will gather outside Staples Center to decry racist remarks attributed to L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
See also: Donald Sterling's 6 Other Greatest Hits
Event co-organizer Jasmyne Cannick says fellow demonstrators will call on Angelenos to boycott the team. They also want the L.A. City Council to denounce the comments in which a man said to be Sterling asks his girlfriend not to bring African Americans “to my games” because “it bothers me a lot.”
Los Angeles is better than and bigger than Donald Sterling and his racism. If Donald Sterling doesn't want blacks and other minorities at his game, as Angelenos we are only happy to oblige him. But we want to make it clear, there is no place in Los Angeles 22 years after the 1992 Civil Unrest for racists like Donald Sterling. L.A. is better than that and together, black, white, Latino, Asian, and every other minority represented in Los Angeles will stand together and lift our collective voices in support of the players, the team, and our city.
TMZ's publication of the comments and audio sparked a firestorm over the weekend. The website Deadspin followed with an “extended” version of audio said to contain Sterling's racist rant.
The tape is said to capture the voice of girlfriend V. Stiviano, who asks, “Do you know that you have a whole team that's black, that plays for you?”
A man identified as Sterling responds:
You just, do I know? I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? Do I know that I have – Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?
Lorraine Miller, interim president of the NAACP, told NBC's Meet the Press yesterday that Sterling would not be receiving a lifetime achievement award from the L.A. chapter.
The chapter had Sterling at the top of its honoree list for its 100th anniversary dinner May 15 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel downtown. Also scheduled to be honored, as people of the year, are Rev. Al Sharpton and Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Over the weekend Garcetti had sharp words for Sterling:
These statements are offensive and despicable and have no place in Los Angeles. I urge the NBA to act swiftly. L.A. fans deserve and demand better.
The audio even prompted President Obama to weigh in, calling remarks attributed to the Clippers owner “incredibly offensive racist statements.”
L.A. city Councilman Bernard Parks said he was drafting a resolution to condemn the statements and ask the NBA to take action.
That's the big question: What will the NBA, and it's relatively new commissioner, Adam Silver, do? Over the weekend he said there would be an investigation with “due process.” Some are already predicting a post-Sterling Clippers.
The demonstration is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, ahead of the Clippers home playoff game at 7:30 p.m. Protesters were told to gather at Figueroa Street and Pico Boulevard at 5:30 p.m.
Representatives of the NAACP, National Action Network, Community Coalition, Human Rights Advocates and more were expected.