For years and years, the NBA, which depends on the labor of black athletes and the goodwill of black fans, has tried to ignore the well-documented fact that Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, is unambiguously and actively racist (in addition to being a lawbreaker and all-around degenerate).
Now TMZ has posted a recorded conversation in which the billionaire berates a girlfriend of his because she has brought black people to Clippers games and has posed with black people on Instagram. It's a direct window into Sterling's bigoted, psychosexually twisted psyche: The heart of his complaint is that by "associating with black people," his girlfriend (who identifies herself as mixed-race), is preventing herself from being "perceived as either a Latina or a white girl."
This is "painful" to him, Sterling says. "It bothers me a lot," he says.
Sterling is specifically outraged because his girlfriend posted a photograph of herself with Magic Johnson. "Don't bring him to my games!" he says, of the Los Angeles Lakers legend.*
This is where things stand, because the NBA has kept avoiding the problem of Donald Sterling's racism: You can now listen to the longest-tenured owner in the NBA saying he is ashamed to have his girlfriend seen with Magic Johnson, because Magic Johnson is black.
Sterling's Clippers are scheduled to tip off their next playoff game, against the Golden State Warriors, at 3:30 Eastern time on Sunday afternoon.
[Image via AP]