Monday, April 28, 2014

Donald Sterling NAACP award cancelled; girlfriend confirms audio tape of Sterling demanding that she not bring black people to games

Donald Sterling's girlfriend insists tape of Clippers owner 'launching racist rant' at her is authentic but denies she released it to the media Daily Mail April 28, 2014 Photo AP

Compare this story to Cliven Bundy saga.

Exclusive: The Extended Donald Sterling Tape
Kyle Wagner
Dead Spin
April 27, 2014

Deadspin has acquired an extended, 15-minute version of the conversation between Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his then-girlfriend V. Stiviano. If the original nine-minute tape acquired by TMZ left any questions about Sterling's opinions regarding minorities, the audio here should remove all doubt that he's a doddering racist with views not too far removed from the plantation.

You can find the new audio in the above video, which contains the transcript. (This version is also a little crisper than the original and has some extra background activity around the edges, which indicates that this was recorded in a house.) As with the original, we don't know if this has been edited in some way. The NBA is investigating. Thus far, Sterling's team has offered only a tepid response, lightly suggesting the possibility that the original audio had been doctored and pointing out that V. Stiviano had recently been sued by the Sterlings.

v NAACP will not present award to Donald Sterling amid controversy
By USA TODAY Sports staff
April 27, 2014
By Thomas O’Toole

A May 15 banquet for the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People just became a lot more intriguing. The group is planning to honor Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling with a lifetime achievement award. This is the 100th anniversary of the L.A. chapter.

[UPDATE]: The NAACP has announced on its official Twitter account that Sterling will not receive the award.

But in light of racist comments attributed to Sterling on a recording that surfaced on the TMZ website, the banquet plans might be changing.

L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti is also scheduled to be honored with a Person of the Year Award, as is the Rev. Al Sharpton. But, Yusef Robb, the mayor’s spokesman, told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday, “In light of recent events, we will be discussing the event with the Los Angeles NAACP.”

On the chapter’s website, the list of honorees still included Sterling late Saturday night. An email and phone call from USA TODAY Sports to the office was not immediately returned.

The NBA announced Saturday it was investigating to determine if racist comments heard on the audio were indeed from Sterling. The audio obtained by TMZ has a man telling a female associate “why are you taking pictures with minorities, why?” and telling her not to bring to Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson to Clippers games. The person said it bothers him that she posted photos of herself with black people on her Instagram account. After a recent Clippers game, the woman took a picture with Johnson.

In a statement, Clippers president Andy Roeser, said of the recording that the club does “not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered. … Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life.”

According to the website Deadspin, this would not be the first time Sterling would be honored by the NAACP at an inopportune time. He received another Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 around the time of former GM Elgin Baylor’s discrimination lawsuit. Deadspin posted this excerpt from an L.A. Times story:

Clippers owner Donald Sterling, accused of racism and embracing a “vision of a Southern plantation-type structure” in a lawsuit filed in February by Elgin Baylor, will be given a lifetime achievement award next week by the NAACP. . . .

Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles branch of the civil rights organization, says of the much-maligned Sterling, “He has a unique history of giving to the children of L.A.,” revealing that the owner donates anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 tickets a game to youth groups for nearly every Clippers home game.

Noting that the NAACP had made plans to honor Sterling before Baylor filed suit, Jenkins says, “We can’t speak to the allegations, but what we do know is that for the most part [Sterling] has been very, very kind to the minority youth community.”

On Sunday morning, the NAACP tweeted the following update:


#DonaldSterling will not be receiving a lifetime achievement award from the LA Branch of the NAACP. #MTP

Happy Birthday Donald Tokowitz Sterling you Jewish oreo
April 27, 2014
by Jan Tucker

Donald Sterling was born Donald Tokowitz April 26, 1934 in Chicago to Jewish immigrant parents Susan and Mickey Tokowitz...

From Wikipedia:

In August 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Sterling for housing discrimination in using race as a factor in filling some of his apartment buildings. The suit charged that Sterling refused to rent to non-Koreans in the Koreatown neighborhood and to African Americans in Beverly Hills.[13] The suit alleges Sterling once said he did not like to rent to Hispanics because they “smoke, drink and just hang around the building,” and that “Black tenants smell and attract vermin.”[13] In November 2009, ESPN reported that Sterling agreed to pay a fine of $2.73 million to settle claims brought by the Justice Department and Davin Day of Newport Beach that he engaged in discriminatory rental practices against Hispanics, blacks, and families with children.[14] In addition, Sterling was also ordered to pay attorneys’ fees and costs in that action of $4,923,554.75. [Order Granting Motion for Prevailing Party's Attorneys' Fees and Costs, dated November 2, 2005, C.D. Cal. Case No. 2:03-cv-00859-DSF-E Dkt No. 454]. In granting the attorney’s fees and costs Judge Dale S. Fischer noted “Sterling’s’ scorched earth’ litigation tactics, some of which are described by the Plaintiffs’ counsel and some of which were observed by the Court. The Court has no difficulty accepting Plaintiffs’ counsel’s representations that the time required to be spent on this case was increased by defendant’s counsel’s often unacceptable, and sometimes outrageous conduct.”

I’ve seen Judge Dale S. Fischer in action and she is a no-nonsense judge whether I agree or disagree with her rulings (on occasion I’ve been on both sides). Given that Donald Sterling is himself a member of the Bar (California License 31124 issued 1/11/61) and is perfectly capable of supervising attorneys representing him you’d think that maybe, just maybe, the State Bar might consider some kind of disciplinary action against him for his legal behavior...

The sickest thing about Sterling’s sordid record on race relations is that the Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP was just about to honor him with a second lifetime achievement award on May 15, 2014 (they gave him one in 2009 while he was being sued by Elgin Baylor). As Wikipedia explains the Baylor lawsuit:

In February 2009, Sterling was sued by former longtime Clippers executive Elgin Baylor for employment discrimination on the basis of age and race.[15] The lawsuit alleges Sterling told Baylor that he wanted to fill his team with “poor black boys from the South and a white head coach”.[13] The suit alleges that during negotiations for Danny Manning, Sterling said “I’m offering a lot of money for a poor black kid.”[13][16] The suit noted those comments while alleging “the Caucasian head coach was given a four-year, $22-million contract”, but Baylor’s salary had “been frozen at a comparatively paltry $350,000 since 2003″.

There is a long tradition (not a time honored one but a quietly carried out and usually unspoken of) of shaking down racists by so-called civil rights movement organizational poverty pimps when they get into public trouble for their depraved behavior. I saw the Anti-Defamation League do this when they accepted a huge contribution from Marriott Corporation to give them their organizational seal of approval when an Ethiopian Jew stood up to Host International’s refusal to allow him to wear his Yarmulke at work. ADL accepted Marriott’s word that the guy was delusional without any semblance of a legitimate investigation. So carrying on that sordid tradition, NAACP was prepared to honor Sterling and whitewash his longtime pattern of discriminatory behavior, but apparently with his statements on tape and being made public for once, it’s too embarrassing. These Negroes are not just embarrassed, they’re apparently afraid that honoring him will so discredit them that it will interfere with their further poverty pimping in the name of civil rights, so the estimated $10,000-$15,000 he gave Los Angeles NAACP in the past year alone is no longer enough to buy the organization’s loyalty.

ESPN Deportes tells the details of Sterling’s slum-lording at

The article, which came out as a birthday present yesterday for Sterling contains such choice details as:

Jones had repeatedly walked to the apartment manager’s office to plead for assistance, according to sworn testimony given by her daughter Ebony Jones in the Housing Rights Center case. Kandynce Jones’ refrigerator dripped, her dishwasher was broken, and her apartment was always cold. Now it had flooded. Davenport reported what she saw to Sterling, and according to her testimony, he asked: “Is she one of those black people that stink?” When Davenport told Sterling that Jones wanted to be reimbursed for the water damage and compensated for her ruined property, he replied: “I am not going to do that. Just evict the bitch.”

Up And Down In Beverly Hills
Eccentric multimillionaire Donald Sterling has been a flaming success as an L.A. real estate mogul and a dismal failure as the owner of the Clippers
Franz Lidz
Sports Illustrated
April 17, 2000

In the Eerie silence of the empty foyer of Sterling Plaza, you can almost hear the grunts of the Hollywood tycoons who made and broke stars as casually as they lit and crushed out their cigars. MGM cofounder Louis B. Mayer built this Art Deco landmark in Beverly Hills 70 years ago, when the silents were turning to talkies.
v The seven-story edifice, which boasts bronze-plated elevators, marble-lined corridors and formal parlors, could have been created by the set designer of Top Hat.

For more than a decade, the most opulent office space in 90210 has remained virtually unoccupied. The building's sole tenant is its landlord, Donald Sterling, whose billion-dollar real estate empire occupies the sixth and seventh floors. "Some people think I'm eccentric for keeping Sterling Plaza to myself," Sterling says. "I like riding up and down the elevators alone. It's a luxury I've earned."

...Sterling, a spectacularly successful real estate baron who owns the Malibu Yacht Club, the Beverly Comstock Hotel and nearly half the apartments in Beverly Hills, speaks plaintively of his spectacularly unsuccessful team. "How do I handle losing year after year?" he says. "How do I cope with the ridicule? Let me ask you something: How would you cope with the ridicule?" Sterling has a way of lobbing people's questions back at them. He seems to do it not so much because he wants to elude hard questions but because he wants to know other people's answers. "How do I cope?" he repeats. "It's very hard. I've suffered. Oh, how I've suffered. Do you know what it is to truly suffer?" Do you? "Yes, I suppose I do," says the 63-year-old Sterling. "The pain, the torment, the absolute torture! How do the owners of the Chicago Cubs get through it? How does anyone get through a difficult experience? I'll tell you how. You just keep going, keep fighting, keep living. Life goes on, and you hope it will improve." It's fitting that Sterling set up shop in the House That Mayer Built. He seems benign and avuncular, but he has the furtive, feral charm of an old-time movie mogul. "I try to be warm and ingratiating with people and make them feel important," he says. "I never met anyone I didn't like. I'm very open, very honest, very caring." Of course, the moguls of yesteryear were neither open nor caring. They were difficult, and Sterling has a similar reputation. Few Sterling hirelings utter a word—much less a discouraging one—about their boss. Chris Ford, who coached the Clippers from 1998 until he was fired in February, declines to comment on Sterling. Jim Todd, the man who replaced Ford, says only, " Elgin [Baylor] and Mr. Sterling have always been very supportive of me." Baylor, the Clippers' general manager, who has known Sterling for 15 years, limits his remarks to a terse, "He's always treated me great." Even Bill Walton, the team's outspoken TV color man, is mute on the subject of Sterling. About the only Sterling employee willing to go public is Lynn Lewis. "As an employer, he's tremendously loyal, magnanimous and compassionate," says Lewis, a Sterling assistant since 1994. "He's always ready to talk to you, to hear you out, to stand behind you. He treats everyone like family." Lewis ought to know. She is Sterling's kid sister. For all his loyalty and magnanimity, Sterling is as eccentric as the next multimillionaire. (When Sterling moved the Clippers to L.A. in 1984, Alan Rothenberg, then the team president, said about his boss, "You're going to call him the Howard Hughes of the NBA.") In the living room of his Greco-American-South mansion in Beverly Hills, Sterling once conducted a get-acquainted meeting with a top draft pick and his agent Bob Guccione—style, wearing nothing but a bathrobe open to his navel. While entertaining friends at restaurants, he sometimes suggests entrees for others to order but doesn't get anything for himself. "The idea," says Michael Selsman, his former publicist, "is to make his guests share with him." When it comes to pinching pennies, Sterling is an embarrassment of riches. Old NBA hands still talk about how he reportedly tried to cut costs during his first season by asking coach Paul Silas if the players really needed a trainer and if Silas would mind taping them before games. Sterling is also said to have proposed to trim the team budget for his second season by slashing training-camp expenses from more than $50,000 to about $100, scouting from more than $20,000 to about $1,000, advertising from more than $200,000 to less than $9,000 and medical expenses from about $10,000 to $100. (Sterling says he doesn't remember this, but Clippers executive vice president Andy Roeser, who wasn't around at the time, says, "None of these cuts were ever proposed.") Sterling saved money last season by not hiring a new coach until the six-month lockout was over. "Let's put it this way," says Ray Melchiorre, the team trainer from '96 to '99. "Going without a coach didn't make the Clippers any worse." Sterling played his quintessential cheap trick in San Diego in 1981, just after he bought the team. As a goodwill gesture, he invited prominent lawyers and real estate agents to have lunch, meet the players and enter a foul-shooting contest: Win and take home a $1,000 prize. Among the attendees was lawyer Michael Spilger, captain of San Diego State's 1969-70 basketball team. Spilger made nine of 10, only to be told the offer had been rescinded. The new prize was five days and four nights in Puerto Rico. "There was one catch," says Spilger. "The deal didn't include airfare, transportation or food. I'd have to pay my own way." So Spilger told Sterling he'd take the $1,000. He remembers Sterling countering, "How about double or nothing?" "No thanks, I'll take the $1,000." Next, according to Spilger, Sterling asked if he'd settle for two season tickets, and Spilger said, "I already have some." So Sterling promised him that the team's promotions department would work things out. Two weeks later, Spilger got a letter congratulating him for winning the top prize: Three days and two nights in Las Vegas. Unpaid but unbowed, Spilger sued the Clippers for fraud. At the home opener in '82, a team official tracked him down and offered a compromise: a $1,000 donation to his favorite charity. "I'll see you in court," said Spilger. Two days later—and more than a year after he sank his free throws—he got his money. The Clippers' rebuilding program is in its third decade. They are lottery regulars, and Sterling has held at least two lottery parties at his Beverly Hills estate. The galas were the highlight of the Clippers' season. Sterling has often prepped for his parties by placing newspaper ads for "hostesses" interested in meeting "celebrities and sports stars." Prospective hostesses have been interviewed in the owner's office suite. One former Clippers coach recalls dropping in on Sterling during a cattle call. "The whole floor reeked of perfume," he says. "There were about 50 women all dolled up and waiting outside Donald's office, and another 50 waiting outside the building. The chosen few got to dress scantily, mingle with C-list actors and serve wine in plastic cups." Sterling has been the one constant through the years, so it's easy to blame the team's failure on him. "The truth is," says Carl Scheer, the team's general manager from 1984 to '86, "there have been a lot of bad decisions by people who've worked for him, including me." Those decisions have ranged from bad draft picks to bad trades to bad contract negotiations that radiated bad vibes. "Being a Clipper can be real tough," says retired point guard Pooh Richardson, who toughed it out with the Clippers from 1994 to '99. "It's almost a given that you won't win and that the team won't hold on to its best players." Indeed, not one of Sterling's nine lottery picks before 1998 re-signed with the team. Typically, the Clippers draft a promising player, nurture him and then watch him bail as soon as he's a free agent, spreading their lottery legacy throughout the league. "To have a decent team you need to keep a core of players together and let them grow," says Los Angeles Lakers guard Ron Harper, a survivor of five Clippers campaigns. "Sterling doesn't do that. He's not a builder, he's a meddler." Actually, Sterling doesn't so much meddle as delay. He hedges. He vacillates. He agonizes. "Most NBA owners are distant and aloof and give only the pretense of being in control," says player agent Arn Tellem, general counsel of the Clippers from 1983 to '89. "Donald is so angst-ridden and vulnerable, you just want to hug him. He's constantly seeking the advice of others." Read last four pages HERE.

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