President Barack Obama is sounding off about Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's reported racist rant.
During a press conference in Malaysia with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Sunday, the POTUS was asked about comments the team owner allegedly made about African-Americans, according to CNN.
"When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk," he said. "That's what happened here."
Obama went on to say Sterling's supposed comments prove that "the United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation," adding, "that's still there, the vestiges of discrimination. We've made enormous strides, but you're going to continue to see this percolate up every so often."
In an audio tape obtained by TMZ, which revealed a supposed heated conversation between Sterling and his female companion V. Stiviano, the team owner reportedly told her he didn't want her to "bring black people to his games" including Magic Johnson. Sterling reportedly went off after Stiviano posted an Instagram shot of herself with Johnson at a recent game (which she later deleted).
"Why are you taking pictures with minorities," Sterling allegedly said on the tape, among many other things. "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?"
Former NBA player and Bobcats Chairman Michael Jordan released a statement Sunday regarding the comments, saying, "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 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," Jordan continued. "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."
Clippers coach Doc Rivers also addressed the comments, adding, "I didn't like the comments. I'm going to tell you now. I'm speaking on behalf of the team, so the players are not going to deal with this issue. We had a great team meeting this morning about it."
"A lot of guys voiced their opinions," he continued. "None of them were happy about it. This is a situation where we are trying to go after something very important for us, something we've dreamed about all of our childhoods…we're not going to let anyone get in the way of those dreams."
Ironically, the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP was set to present Sterling with a lifetime achievement award, but, Lorraine Miller, interim President of the NAACP said that will no longer be happening.
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Take a look at what other stars had to say about it:
Lebron James: "There's no room for Donald Sterling in the NBA — there is no room for him…I can only imagine if a player came out and said something of that stature what would happen to us as players," James said. "I believe in Adam (Silver) and I believe in the NBA and they have to do something very fast before this really gets out of hand."
Baron Davis: That's the way it is...He is honest about what he believes in..Been going on for a long time, Hats off 2 the Team.. 4 playin above it all.
Kevin Hart Donald T Sterling is a flat out Racist....he will never see another dollar from me!!! This is This is disgusting....he has a slave master mentality!!!! This is disturbing and unbelievably sad!!! I feel for my close friends that play for this Racist because of the position that this puts him in!!! #Racist #ScumBag #Racist #ScumBag #Racist #ScumBag
-Additional reporting by Lindsay Good