Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has allegedly been caught on tape telling his girlfriend not to publicly associate with minorities or to bring them to his team’s games. The National Basketball Association (NBA) says they’re investigating the nine minute audio tape that was leaked to the entertainment website TMZ.com.
This wouldn't be the first time Sterling is investigated for racist comments.
In 2009, Sterling agreed to pay $2.73 million to settle allegations by the Justice Department that he refused to rent apartments to Latinos, blacks and families with children in Los Angeles. At the time, Sterling's settlement was the largest monetary payment ever obtained by the department in the settlement of a case alleging housing discrimination in the rental of apartments.
Sterling is overheard in the recently leaked audio tape telling his girlfriend that she should not “broadcast” that she associates with black people.
"Why publicize it on the Instagram and bring it to my games?" Sterling asks his girlfriend V. Stiviano, who identifies as black and Mexican. "It bothers me a lot if you want to broadcast that you are associating with black people," Sterling goes on to say.
"Don't put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games," Sterling is heard telling Stiviano.
The current Clippers roster has 14 players, all but two of whom are black; 12 players are African-American, one is Turkish and one player is white. All of whom have made the L.A. based team a valuable asset to Sterling.
Sterling purchased the Clippers in 1981 for $128 million dollars and today they're valued at $575 million, according to Forbes.
The Clippers, who are based in Los Angeles, also have a strong fan base made up of people of color. Black or African American's make up 9.8 percent of the city's population, accoring to the latest Census figures. Latinos make up 57.5 percent of the population.
The NBA says they’re investigating the audio recording.
"The remarks heard on the recording are disturbing and offensive, but at this time we have no further information," NBA executive vice president of communication Mike Bass told USA Today. He also said the league is conducting a "full investigation."