The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Clippers protest by refusing to wear logo during warmups (updated)

Players made a statement during warmups and the national anthem. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP)
Placeholder while article actions load

Los Angeles Clippers players have let Coach Doc Rivers do the talking for them ever since a report surfaced of a recording that allegedly shows the owner of their team making racially insensitive comments. But when they took the court for warmups before Game 4 of their playoff series against Golden State, they made a collective statement without a saying a word.

They walked to center court at Oracle Arena in Oakland, removed their shooting shirts, put them in a pile and warmed up for the nationally televised game in inside-out playoff gear with the logo barely visible.

“Our message — it sounds simple — it’s stay together, play ball,” Paul told ABC before the game. “We worked really hard to be where we are. I couldn’t imagine going through anything like this with anybody leading us other than Doc. He’s been amazing and for us, we’ve have to focus on what we’re trying to do.”

Players also wore black armbands. “I knew about it,” Rivers said of the players’ plan. “Didn’t voice my opinion. Wasn’t thrilled about it, to be honest. But if that’s what they want to do, that’s what they want to do.”

As for Sterling, he is not at the game and it is not yet known whether he will be in his customary courtside seat when the Game 5 goes to Staples Center on Tuesday night. As it was, the pregame vibe was weird enough without him.