One of the voices everyone has been waiting to hear has spoken up on the racially insensitive comments allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats and the man considered by many to be the greatest player ever, declined to comment before the Bobcats’ playoff game against the Miami Heat, but he issued a statement Sunday:
“I look at this from two perspectives – as a current owner and a former player. As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I’m confident that [Commissioner] Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly. As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA – or anywhere else – for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level.”
Jordan’s forceful, measured statement echoes the strong words of LeBron James, who said Saturday there is “no room in our league” for Sterling if the recording is authentic.
“I kind of wavered back and forth whether I would actually sit out. If our owner would come out and say the things that he said, I would really have to sit down with my teammates, talk to my family because at the end of the day, our family, and our teammates are way more important than that. Basketball is huge, obviously the playoffs have been unbelievable, and I hate the fact that something like this has to come out when the playoffs have been unbelievable and the game of basketball continues to grow, but there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league. There is no room for him.”
James said he wasn’t angered that this became an issue.
“Just disappointed more than anything. There is only 30 owners and 400-plus of us. For a player, I just think…I put my…I can only imagine if a player came out and said something of that stature what would happen to us as players. So, I believe in [Commissioner] Adam [Silver], I believe in the NBA and they have to do something and do something very fast and quickly before this really gets out of hand. Like I said, there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league, man. There it is.”
Kobe Bryant took it a step further.
I couldn’t play for him— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) April 26, 2014