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