LA Clippers Players Stage Silent Protest by Turning Warmup Jerseys Inside Out

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 27 2014 9:23 PM

LA Clippers Players Stage Silent Protest by Turning Warmup Jerseys Inside Out

487117841-los-angeles-clippers-players-sit-on-the-bench-wearing
Los Angeles Clippers players sit on the bench wearing their warmup tops inside out

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers player didn’t boycott the playoff game against the Golden State Warriors Sunday night, but they did stage a silent protest against owner Donald Sterling, who was apparently recorded making racist remarks to his girlfriend V. Stiviano. After the players ran out of the tunnel wearing their warm-ups they gathered at center court and took off their Clippers shirts. They then proceeded to warm up wearing inside-out red shirts that did not display the team’s logo. Players also wore black wristbands and armbands as well as black socks, reports ESPN. "It's just us, only us. We're all we got," Clippers star guard Chris Paul was overheard telling his teammates, according to the Associated Press.

Paul tells ESPN the players did discuss boycotting the game during a 45-minute team meeting on Saturday. Clippers coach Doc Rivers said that the players would avoid speaking publicly about the issue for now. "Our message is to play," Rivers said. "Our message is that we're going to let no one and nothing stop us from what we want to do. And I think that's a good message. I really do. I think that's the message we're trying to send. And if we can pull this off all the way, I think that would be a terrific message." The Clippers lost the game 118-97.

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Meanwhile, Stiviano’s lawyer told the Los Angeles Times in an email that the recording of Sterling is authentic but denied she was the one who released it to news outlets. The recording posted by TMZ is apparently part of a one-hour conversation, according to the lawyer. If the TMZ tape wasn’t enough to convince you Sterling really is racist, Deadspin “acquired” a 15-minute version of the recording. The recording obtained by Deadspin does have some background noise that suggests the conversation was recorded in a house.

Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, was the latest to speak up Sunday against Sterling. “There is no room in the NBA—or anywhere else—for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed,” he said, reports USA Today.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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