The National Basketball Association and its players association are investigating whether Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, made a racially insensitive remark that was captured on a recording, according to several publications, including the New York Times and USA Today. Sterling, a real estate magnate who has been in trouble for racial discrimination, has owned the team since 1981, when it was in San Diego.
According to a recording, Sterling is said to have commented to a female friend, "It bothers me a lot that you're associating with black people." He told her not to be photographed with Magic Johnson, the Hall of Fame basketball and entrepreneurial legend. Johnson is African-American. Johnson said he would not attend a Clippers game as long as Sterling is the owner. Clippers players held a meeting to discuss the matter yesterday, April 25.
In 2009, Sterling paid a record $2.725 million to settle a housing discrimination suit brought by the Justice Department, says the Times. He was accused of systematically driving out African-Americans and Latinos from an apartment he owned.
In March, Sterling's wife filed suit alleging that he was having an affair with the woman to whom he apparently made the insensitive remarks. In 2005, Sterling agreed to pay an undisclosed sum in a lawsuit alleging he tried to force Koreans out of apartments, according to USA Today.