By now, everyone has heard the alleged recorded conversation between Vanessa Stiviano, 38, and Los Angeles Clippers NBA team owner, Donald Sterling, 81, where he reportedly told her not to bring black people to his games and to not share photographs of herself with black people (like basketball great, Magic Johnson) on her Instagram account.
"It bothers me a lot that you want to…broadcast that you're associating with black people," he allegedly said, according to audio published by TMZ Sports. "You can do anything, but don't put [Magic Johnson] on an Instragram so the whole world has to see…so they have to call me. And don't bring him into my games. Okay?"
Sterling and the Clippers organization has questioned the legitimacy of the tape and maintains that he does not dislike minorities, saying in a statement, "Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life."
Nevertheless, before Sunday night's game, Clippers players removed their warm-up shirts, turned them inside out so the team logo was hidden and left them in the center of the court in an act of protest. And during the game, the players wore wrist or arm bands and black socks. And, the Clippers are starting to lose sponsors.
But what seems to have escaped Sterling is that his girlfriend, or non-girlfriend-friend/employee, is black herself. She's mixed-race of Mexican and African-American heritage, something Sterling is reportedly heard dismissing on the tape when he allegedly asks her, "Why are you taking pictures with minorities?"
Sterling reportedly said something else on the tape that has reminded at least one writer of modern-day slavery:
"I support [the players] 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?"
Paul Rosenberg over at Salon wrote:
"Excuse me. Donald Sterling gives the players on his team food? Clothes? Cars? Houses? They don’t work their asses off earning what they buy for themselves, building on a lifetime of hard work, practice, and years of unmitigated exploitation as unpaid athletes along the way? Does anyone other than Sterling have the slightest difficulty in hearing how much he sounds like a classic 19th century slave owner, talking about everything he’s done for his ungrateful slaves?"
So, while Sterling doesn't approve of his alleged mistress being photographed with (other) "minorities," he apparently doesn't mind earning money from their labor.
What do you think of the alleged conversation Sterling had with Stiviano?