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.
In this audio, Sterling expresses ideas similar to the ones he did in the original: The world will think certain things if you're seen with black people, he tells his mistress, so you should not be seen with them in public, and under no circumstances should you bring them to Clippers games. How does he square his dim view of black people with the fact that he has an NBA team full of black players? Sterling responds with a breathtaking non-sequitur.
V: I don't understand, I don't see your views. I wasn't raised the way you were raised.
DS: Well then, if you don't feel—don't come to my games. Don't bring black people, and don't come.
V: Do you know that you have a whole team that's black, that plays for you?
DS: You just, do I know? I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? Do I know that I have—Who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners, that created the league?
Poor Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is also dragged into the conversation, having appeared in an Instagram photo with V. Stiviano. It was her photo with Magic Johnson that had apparently started the fight.
V: Honey, if it makes you happy, I will remove all of the black people from my Instagram.
DS: You said that before, you said, "I understand."
V: I DID remove the people that were independently on my Instagram that are black.
DS: Then why did you start saying that you didn't? You just said that you didn't remove them. You didn't remove every—
V: I didn't remove Matt Kemp and Magic Johnson, but I thought—
V: I thought Matt Kemp is mixed, and he was OK, just like me.
V: He's lighter and whiter than me.
V: I met his mother.
DS: You think I'm a racist, and wouldn't—
V: I don't think you're a racist.
DS: Yes you do. Yes you do.
V: I think you, you—
DS: Evil heart.
And there is also this baffling exchange about black Jews in Israel:
DS: It's the world! You go to Israel, the blacks are just treated like dogs.
V: So do you have to treat them like that too?
DS: The white Jews, there's white Jews and black Jews, do you understand?
V: And are the black Jews less than the white Jews?
DS: A hundred percent, fifty, a hundred percent.
V: And is that right?
DS: It isn't a question—we don't evaluate what's right and wrong, we live in a society. We live in a culture. We have to live within that culture.
V: But shouldn't we take a stand for what's wrong? And be the change and the difference?
DS: I don't want to change the culture, because I can't. It's too big and too [unknown].
V: But you can change yourself.
DS: I don't want to change. If my girl can't do what I want, I don't want the girl. I'll find a girl that will do what I want! Believe me. I thought you were that girl—because I tried to do what you want. But you're not that girl.
They close by essentially invoking Hitler and closing down the thread, comparing Sterling's viewpoints to the Holocaust:
V: It's like saying, "Let's just persecute and kill all of the Jews."
DS: Oh, it's the same thing, right?
V: Isn't it wrong? Wasn't it wrong then? With the Holocaust? And you're Jewish, you understand discrimination.
DS: You're a mental case, you're really a mental case. The Holocaust, we're comparing with—
V: Racism! Discrimination.
DS: There's no racism here. If you don't want to be... walking... into a basketball game with a certain... person, is that racism?
Remember that these aren't the unfortunate offhand comments of an old man. These are expressions of a worldview that Sterling has acted upon time and time again, with real effects on real people, with little to no response from the NBA or its players. The difference in this case is the visceral effect of actually hearing him say these things out loud and oh so matter-of-factly. It's enough for even an actor as careful as LeBron James to feel empowered to take a flamethrower to Sterling, saying, "There is no room for Donald Sterling in our league."
The NBA has said it hopes to conclude its investigation within the next few days. If you have anything you think we should know about Donald Sterling, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or email me at email@example.com.
Update: Here is the portion of the tape you heard on TMZ, in the unedited and uncensored format we received it.
Update 2 4/29/14: Donald Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA.