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LeBron James: ‘There is no room for Donald Sterling in our league’

Apr 26, 2014, 6:49 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Miami Heat Getty Images

LeBron James has a platform unlike any player in the NBA – and he knows it.

He’s used his stature for trivial items (like sleeved jerseys), more important things (growing the NBA) and wider social issues (Trayvon Martin).

Now, LeBron is using his place in the game to hold Donald Sterling’s feet to the fire.

Good for LeBron. He can’t singlehandedly force out an owner, but his voice influences decision-makers. LeBron could have easily deferred on the issue and avoided controversy.

Instead, he’s drawing a line and planting himself firmly on one side of it.

  1. ringjames - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Now CP3 has an excuse to request a trade when the Clippers don’t get put out

  2. pantsfreezone - Apr 26, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    This is why LeBron is one of my favorite players in the league. He’s the best player on the planet, a decent person, good father and has never been in trouble outside of some embarrassing PR snafus that get blown out of proportion because of the media driven age we live in. He’s a guy I’d have a beer with if the opportunity arose.

    Compared to Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, who are people most of us wouldn’t invite into their homes if they weren’t sports icons and even then, probably not.

  3. pharohislife - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    The one time I can say I’m on Lebron’s side.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      You’re not a real hater.

      • pharohislife - Apr 26, 2014 at 8:22 PM

        Thanks alot Donald Sterling, Only you could lead my Hate for Lebron to be put into question.

  4. capya - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    First time I’ve ever agreed with LeBron.

  5. genericcommenter - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    This is a lot better than saying something like “Hey, bigots buy shoes, too.”

    • paleihe - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:31 PM

      Yeah, totally agree.

      Maybe that’s why Jordan and the Bobcats declined to make a comment on this situation also. Bigots attend games too.

  6. antistratfordian - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    Amen.

  7. ljl2 - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    Remember when LeBron met with Sterling about joining the clippers in 2010? Or his refusal to sign a human rights petition because it was about China and bike had a vested interest?

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      Yup.

  8. blueintown - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    I’ve thought for some time now that LeBron would seek a sign and trade this offseason so he could play with CP3.

    I think I might be wrong.

  9. nfl4days - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    The King has spoken.

    • progress2011 - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:03 PM

      Only if CP3 is going to Miami.

      Which would mean the often injured D-Wade would need to take about a 12 MILLION Dollar pay cut….

      I vote for that!

      • adamsjohn714 - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:10 AM

        Nah. Ship bosh out and play birdman 30 minutes a night.

  10. rdrfan - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    Players talk racial crap to each other all the time. They just don’t set each other up and record it to sell to some gossip column.

    • nfl4days - Apr 26, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      I don’t recall players saying that white people are enemies and for them to not show up for games or telling their loved ones to not associate with them. This is the same man who payed the largest federal housing discrimination lawsuit ever. He also has a long history of being accused of racial discrimination and comments but I’m sure people like you say they were “pulling the race card”. Sterling is a billionaire. This man has power over people’s lives and well beings and I assure you he uses his money to influence politics in favor of his bigoted point of view. You people who defend this guy kill me.

    • kinggw - Apr 26, 2014 at 8:33 PM

      You couldn’t be more wrong. Do you know what the word context means? Certain players calling themselves the n-word as a term of endearment doesn’t rise to the level of Sterling’s comments and is not “racial crap.” What you engaged in is deflection by false equivalence.

      Sterling’s comments were racist. What players say to each other is totally irrelevant to this situation.

    • urodaddy07 - Apr 26, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      This is a very ignorant statement. Context is everything. So obviously the situations aren’t comparable

  11. jimeejohnson - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    Hey maltliquor: I was wrong if these allegations are right; TMZ may just be reliable.

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 26, 2014 at 8:06 PM

      TMZ is actually fairly reliable. Not to mention there’s no question “if these allegations are right”, listen to the audio.

      • mackcarrington - Apr 26, 2014 at 9:10 PM

        TMZ is run by a lawyer. You think Harvey Levin knows how not to get sued?

  12. jamesmfitzpatrick - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    @rdrfan

    I think that Sterling’s comments, assuming they are really coming from him, go a bit deeper than “racial crap.”

  13. dolphindubs - Apr 26, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    @ljl2

    Why does it seem like it pains some people to offer LeBron a compliment? I hope haters like you put forth the same amount of time and energy to hate on everyone else as you do LeBron, or else you are being a bit discriminate in focusing your hate on one particular person.

    Which is kind of ironic considering we’re posting these comments on an article about a man who is discriminate towards one particular group of people.

    Its almost like its the same thing…

  14. jason9696 - Apr 26, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    I’m not a big LeBron James fan. But good for him.

  15. psly2124 - Apr 26, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    I’m sick and tired of everyone being a called a racist. If Donald sterling was a racist he wouldn’t be paying out max contracts to black players. He would not be dating a tai/black chick. So nobody can say a thing derogatory against another race. Or are only whites held to a higher standard then everyone else. Every other race can say whatever they want about whites and it’s ok. Everyone I hear the term racist come out. I am automatically supporting them. The political correctness is out of control. Forcing someone out of a league because of a comment. But it’s ok if your a player to beat your wife or commit any other felonies and that’s ok. Reason number 5000 that I will never watch an nba game again.

    • atahualpaoxford - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:56 AM

      somehow, I think I’m being censored…my previous comment has disappeared…
      Let’s try again…
      Man, I’m 101% with you on this…
      These days, everybody is trying to be the first one in line to be politically correct…
      What a bunch of sheep…
      As for LeBron…this coming from a guy who stabbed a whole city and played games with..??
      You have to be frigging kidding me…
      I’d wavered back and forth if I’d sit out…??? Really..???
      you’d leave a gazillion million dollars there just to stick to your principles…???
      Well…you can always use your university degree and get a real job…
      Ohhhh…I forgot…you just finished high school….
      Pity…

      • kanemoney - Apr 27, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        “this coming from a guy who stabbed a whole city and played games with”

        WHAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTT????

        Dude – it’s called free agency. Player get signed to contracts that are guaranteed. They play out their contracts and are then free to sign with whatever team they want.

        Your statement implies either ownership of players of some sort of bizarre loyalty. It’s fine for teams to cut, buy out, and trade underperforming talent, but somehow it’s wrong for Lebron to not resign with an underperforming coach, GM and team?

        Get real dude.

        And as a side note, dating or employing someone of another race does not make you a non-racist. If you are engaged of a relationships on non-equals in which you are superior, there is no basis for such a claim.

        I don’t know anything about his girlfriend at all, but if she is a gold digger who let’s him call all the shots, that’s more akin to a hired call girl than a relationship between equals.

  16. dbfan4ever - Apr 26, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    Donald Sterling is a black mark to the nba!

  17. urodaddy07 - Apr 26, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    I’m a black man and of course the statements made on the tape are repugnant like Shaq says, but you always have to give some benefit of the doubt here. You have to wonder if the voice is actually that of Sterling, how the tape so conveniently came into the possession of TMZ, and who provided it, if there is any doctoring or alteration made to what was said. That said; my gut tells me this is real and that this guy is every bit ad slimy as the tape makes it sound

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - Apr 27, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      If that is not Sterling’s voice, unedited, it’s time – past time – for him to say so.

    • bougin89 - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      Great take and this was my initial reaction to the recording as well. The tape seems like a setup but it doesn’t change what he said. Plus there is too long of a history of racism by Sterling that doesn’t allow me to give him the benefit of the doubt here…

  18. campcouch - Apr 26, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Sterling is dating a black/Mexican chick,employed Elgin Baylor for 22 terrible years,hires black coaches and FO personnel,pays lots of money to black and Hispanic players and doesn’t seem to avoid black people…heck,I avoid members in my family and don’t want to deal with them financially or socaially. I don’t think I’m racist to other black people,I just know there’s quite a few that make my life miserable. I wouldn’t label the guy as racist,I know plenty of other black people who work,party and associate with white people daily but wouldn’t invite them to their house. He’s an old man with skewed views. He just said he preferred not to socialize and we have no idea what experiences he had in his past with other races that makes him feel this way. It’s ignorant to say that black people are always the victim of white people. I’ve watched my friends and family harass white people and those folks couldn’t do anything out of fear of retribution either physically or by legal means. It’s ridiculous to think that he’d pay millions to black players and staff but yet sit back and wring his hands over the fact. It’s a grumpy old man speaking.

  19. 00maltliquor - Apr 27, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    Welp, kiss the thought of LBJ taking his talents to the Clippers next season.

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