The 11 Grossest Things Uttered on the Sterling Tape

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Orlando Magic and Clippers in Los Angeles in 2008.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Orlando Magic and Clippers in Los Angeles in 2008.
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling is no stranger to allegations of racism, but his latest remarks—allegedly caught on tape and later obtained by TMZ—have enraged fans and other observers who took social media by storm Saturday.

The recording purportedly contains a conversation between Sterling and girlfriend V. Stiviano, in which the 80-year-old billionaire—who made his fortune as a Southern Californian slumlord—berates his black, Mexican companion for having the audacity to Instagram pictures of herself with other “black people.”

“Privately, in your whole life, every day you can be with [black people]—every single day of your life” Sterling tells her, insisting throughout the exchange that he was not racist. “But why publicize it on the Instagram [sic], and why bring it to my games?”

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Sterling was reportedly set off by a picture Stiviano took with NBA icon Magic Johnson, whom Sterling said he would prefer Stiviano admire “privately.” The comments should make for an extremely awkward night with the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, who is scheduled to honor Sterling with a “lifetime achievement” award this week.

While Sterling makes a number of disgusting remarks, here are some of the worst offenders in the nine-and-a-half minute audio clip:

1. “Your whole life, every day, you could do whatever you want. You can sleep with [black people], you can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it...and not to bring them to my games.”

2. “You’re perceived as either a Latina or white girl. [Rhetorically] Why can’t you be walking publicly with black people? Why? Is there a benefit to you? ...Maybe you’re stupid.

3. “People feel certain things. Hispanics feel certain things toward blacks. Blacks feel certain things towards other groups. It’s been that way historically and it will always be that way.”

4. “Yeah it bothers me a lot that you want to promo broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?”

5. “You’re supposed to be a delicate white or a delicate Latina girl.”

6. “I feel that way so strongly, and it may cause our relationship to just break apart. And if it does, it does. It’s better to break apart now than break apart later.”

7. “There’s nothing wrong with minorities, they’re fabulous. Fabulous.”

8. “[I don’t think] there’s [anything] wrong with...your skin color. Why are you saying these things? To upset me?”

9. “There’s no negativity! I love everybody. I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself...walking with black people. You don’t have to.

10. “I think the fact that you admire [Magic Johnson]—I’ve known him well, and he should be admired. And I’m just saying that it’s too bad you can’t admire him privately.”

11. “Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f*** him, I don’t care. You can do anything. But don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games, okay?”

Seems like Sterling won’t have to worry about that—Johnson had his own message for the aging racist on Twitter Saturday afternoon:

Johnson isn’t the only one tweeting about the recording—both “Donald Sterling” and “#ClippersOwnerIsARacist” are nationally trending on the social media site.

Offline, Miami Heat forward LeBron James told reporters there was “no room for Donald Sterling in the NBA,” adding he wasn’t sure if he’d finish this year’s playoffs had his team’s owner made similar comments.

“If our owner would come out and say the things [Sterling] said I would have to sit down with my teammates and talk to my family because at the end of the day, our family and teammates are way more important than that,” he told the Associated Press.

NBA said they were investigating Sterling’s comments, and called them “disturbing and offensive” in a statement to the press.