Donald Sterling could be the most disgraced owner in the history of the NBA. He asserted himself as an owner who would do whatever it took to ensure the success of his team, the Los Angeles Clippers. Instead, a recording of him making blatantly racist comments surfaced and a scandal ensued. Now, there are reports that Sterling backed out of an event in the Watts neighborhood of the city which was meant to make amends, Classicalite.com said on December 18.
He was supposed to dress up as Santa Claus at a charity toy drive, but according to celebrity news website TMZ, Sterling’s previous remarks haven’t left people with the best impression.
Apparently, Sterling wanted his appearance to be a surprise but his security team was worried that too many people knew where he was going to be, and considering his track record with the black community things could have gone south quickly, TMZ said.
Sterling’s representative says he still donated a sedan-full of toys during a Friday night event held in a much more “Sterling-safe” environment, Beverly Hills, the website said.
L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents Watts, probably didn’t help matters by coming on TMZ Live, and demanding Sterling stay away unless he’s ready to donate much more than toys, TMZ said.
The scandal goes back to April when TMZ released a 10-minute recording, saying it was a conversation in which Sterling, the son of Jewish immigrant parents, tells his girlfriend, who is of black and Mexican descent, not to be seen in public with black people or to post photographs of herself with black people on Instagram. He also tells her not to bring black people to his team’s basketball games.
Sterling’s remarks sparked outrage across the United States, with even President Barack Obama weighing in, and the NBA vowed to take swift action.
After conducting an investigation which concluded that it was in fact a recording of Sterling, the NBA banned him for life and gave him a $2.5 million fine, the most severe punitive action the league has ever taken against an owner.
Now, Sterling seems to have accepted the loss but is still trying to salvage his reputation.
Sterling, a real estate owner, bought the Clippers in 1981. He was the longest-tenured owner in the NBA.