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What is Sterling’s racist history everyone is talking about? Here is a short review.

Apr 28, 2014, 5:08 PM EDT

This is not all of it. Not sure the Internet is big enough for all of it.

But when in the wake of the racists comments allegedly made by Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling a lot of places — PBT included — have talked about the history of racial incidents with Sterling. We now realize that a lot of people — and a lot of NBA players — really had no idea.

So consider this a little primer.

• In 2009 Sterling paid $2.75 million to settle a federal housing discrimination lawsuit, the largest sum in American history paid for such a suit. Testimony during that suit said Sterling (and his wife, she was part of this and pretended to be a government employee to gain access to tenant apartments and harass them) did not want African-Americans or Hispanics as tenants and his people should try to get Koreans.

In testimony as part of that suit, one of Sterling’s top property managers swore Sterling said he wanted Korean tenants, “That’s because of all the blacks in this building, they smell, they’re not clean. … And it’s because of all of the Mexicans that just sit around and smoke and drink all day.”

In that same suit the same property manager told the story of an elderly black woman in a Sterling building whose unit had flooded due to a leaky refrigerator and dishwasher that Sterling would not pay to repair. The woman asked for water damage reimbursement, Sterling allegedly told the manager “’I am not going to do that. Just evict the b****.'”

• Back in 2003 the Housing Rights Center and a group of tenants sued Sterling and his real estate company for discrimination against blacks and Latinos in rental practices. Among the bombs in the complaint was that Sterling said “Hispanics smoke, drink, and just hang around the building.” Sterling settled the suit.

• Back in 2004 one of the Clipper assistant coaches had prostate cancer surgery and Sterling refused to pay for the $70,000 operation (the Clippers players pitched in to get it done).

• Sterling was so frustrated with the play of Clipper Baron Davis he used to heckle his own player as he ran down the court.

• Long-time Clipper GM Elgin Baylor sued Sterling for wrongful terminate — a lawsuit Sterling won —but that lawsuit was filled with details of Sterling’s alleged behavior. Sterling reportedly said in one coaching interview: “I would like to have a white Southern coach coaching poor black players.”

In that same lawsuit Baylor charged Sterling would bring female guests into the Clippers locker room to admire the players’ “beautiful black bodies.”

Also in that lawsuit Baylor says during contract negotiations with Danny Manning Sterling told the star player “that’s a lot of money for a poor black kid.”

• Sterling has taken out full page newspaper ads to promote a $50 million project on Skid Row in Los Angeles, the Donald T. Sterling Homeless Center. Except it has never been built, or started, or plans submitted to the city. But the ads kept running.

• He has been sued by Mike Dunleavy to Bill Fitch — virtually every former Clipper coach because once he fired them Sterling refused to pay the rest of their guaranteed contracts.

From author Jeff Pearlman, there was the time Sterling was drunk with a woman on his arm at LAX when he showed up to interview Rollie Massimino for the Clippers coaching job and asked the college legend “I wanna know why you think you can coach these n———-.’”

• He had the Clippers celebrate February Black History Month by bringing a number of underprivileged youth to a Clippers game in March (aside the month error, the idea that “poor=black” was part of the impression).

• Finally, via Deadspin, we bring you this bit from one of Sterling’s many depositions over the years.


  1. basketballhooper1 - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    The last one… Is this real life?

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      Its so amazing, isn’t it?

      • basketballhooper1 - Apr 28, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        Crazy… and then somehow people like this are billionaires that run the world. Makes you think doesn’t it?

    • zerole00 - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      That Deadspin deposition is pure gold.

    • bballhistorian - Apr 28, 2014 at 6:42 PM

      Beautiful women getting but naked, sucking you off in the limo without you asking?


  2. rdrfan - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    They sure don’t have trouble taking his money. If they wanna protest don’t take the racist’s money then

    • spursareold - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      He doesn’t seem to have any problem taking their BJ’s either. Don’t act like this was a one way transaction. If Sterling weren’t a billionaire, he’d have never gotten any after the age of 40.

      I think this really had nothing to do with the racism rant, on the young girl’s part. I think she was using it to get back at Sterling’s wife for suing her. I think the suit is baseless anyway. Shell Sterling can’t really tell her husband how to spend money. She should have just ignored the whole situation. Even $2M is less than 1/10th of a percent of their money. The little girl would eventually go away, Sterling will croak, and probably soon, and she’d get all of the money.

    • zerole00 - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:42 PM

      You kinda missed the point, namely, most weren’t aware. If CP can command a max contract wherever he goes, do you honestly think something like this wouldn’t tip the scales?

    • vanmorrissey - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      Yep, just like Doc RIvers took it after his history, laid out of course by all the agents and agencies representing them. Rivers and the players agents knew all about it yet they were not principled enough to say no. Don’t go all over outrage all of a sudden when you knew his history for years.

    • zoomy123 - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      What? So your proposition is that Chris Paul should play basketball for free? Shut up.

  3. jammer73 - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    How come he has a beach ball under his shirt?

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 28, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      Because he lives in L.A.

  4. readysethike - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    a good question would be why didn’t David Stern address this issue? why didn’t the media do its due diligence and investigate more of these stories? and what fool will leave a comment now to defend his actions?

  5. Wammy Giveaway - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    You did not mention Donald Sterling helping Dr. Jerry Buss buy the Lakers. That’s Harry Frazee selling Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees, that’s Curse Of The Bambino territory.

  6. nokoolaidcowboy - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    I haven’t seen a single picture yet, where the camera was this guy’s friend.

    • spursareold - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      That’s one reason he has to pay for booty calls. The other one is that he is uglier on the INSIDE than on the outside.

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 28, 2014 at 6:17 PM


  7. zerole00 - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    I honestly didn’t know about Sterling’s history until articles covering the resigning of Griffin and signing of CP, which detailed why players may not want to stay/come to the Clippers. So basically, give or take 2-3 years.

  8. nicofthenorthstar - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    He looks like a Martin short character. In a body suit and heavy makeup of course.

  9. steelerfanforlife - Apr 28, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    And yet this guy got an NAACP award and was about to get a second one! Shouldn’t we be questioning them as to why??!! Also that last part if this article…is that true because that man is straight up crazy if it is!

    • Big Ant TV - Apr 28, 2014 at 6:48 PM

      dey give it too him cause of da cash he gave naacp but now dey are giving it all back

      • mackcarrington - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:50 PM

        Why do you write in ebonics?

      • Big Ant TV - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:40 AM

        why does it matter u understand it u most be racist too

  10. remyje - Apr 28, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    imagine all the things someone like Riley Cooper has done in private… i’m really not all that surprised by any of his history… he’s a very rich racist… i don’t expect any less

  11. jimeejohnson - Apr 28, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    Racism is drenched in ignorance and hate. Somebody like that should not be in the NBA.

  12. Big Ant TV - Apr 28, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    is this why vinny del “negro” got fired or quit???

  13. titansbro - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    Lol at that last one. Seriously, that’s good enough to be in a movie.

  14. coffeeblack95616 - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    Though I would agree that Sterling is a racist, half these examples are ridiculous. In fact, I would argue the AUTHOR is racist for reading racism INTO the examples. The example of Sterling not paying for a surgery could simply be a good example of what Sterling has proven for the past few decades–that he’s a cheap prick!

  15. seanb20124 - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    How many of our bosses would kick 70K for a surgery?

  16. j0esixpack - Apr 28, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    It sounds like this sleaze’s brand of racism was well known and well documented

    Gotta wonder if the NAACP was looking the other way to accept contributions and give him awards

    Don’t you do a little due diligence when you give someone a lifetime achievement award? Twice?

    • theghostofwillisreed - Apr 28, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      no one is above a little donation from time to time to keep the doors open. even the naacp. sadly it’s the cost of doing business in this day and age.

      • j0esixpack - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        Yeah – but if they twice knowingly gave a Lifetime Achievement award to a guy who apparently everyone knew was a racist (and a $100 background check would reveal any relevant lawsuits via a basic Lexis/Nexis search) then the organization itself has no credibility.

        I’m not saying that’s what happened – but I’d be shocked if no one had the cohones to ask them if they knew, or why they don’t do even the most basic background checks of those who’s “lifetime achievements” they honor… and if money makes all of that irrelevant.

  17. breesus09 - Apr 29, 2014 at 12:44 AM

    This is the problem I have believing all the players & coaches are so shocked & angered. We all knew who he was so I find it hard to believe these guys signed multimillion multiyear deals with them didn’t know his history. I want to hear them explain why that had no problem playing for him knowing these things but now they are talking about protesting games & voiding contracts bc he said some racist stuff. This isn’t even on the mt Rushmore of racist things he’s done but it’s getting all the publicity. Why?

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