Reaction to Donald Sterling’s leaked voicemail is harsh; Bill Walton says Clipper’s owner needs to go
Former Clipper and Hall-of-Famer Bill Walton believes its time for his old boss to be shown the door. He was a Clipper for five years, during which time Donald Sterling purchased the team, and soon moved them to Los Angeles. Walton stayed with the team, and Sterling, after their move as well. Bill, originally from La Mesa here in San Diego County described the Clipper owner’s behavior as “despicable”.
All this and more in reaction to an unauthenticated, unverified, audio recording played on the air by the TMZ television show and the Deadspin website. Other words used by the UCLA star to address Sterling’s alleged voice mail were “ignorant”, “evil” and “sick”. On the recording, a voice that the leakers claim is Donald Sterling, makes bigoted, racist statements concerning his girlfriend inviting black guests to Clippers’ games.
As the opinions of those in the sports world mount against Sterling, including condemnations from Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, a Clippers official source maintains that the recording was digitally altered. No formal, forensic authentication of the recording, declaring it to really be Sterling’s voice and analyzing the file to the point it is felt to be unaltered, has been made.
The Clippers’ Andy Roeser, the President of the team, stated that Donald Sterling does think or behave in a any way characterized by the TMZ leak. Despite the lack of certain proof, almost every person asked to go on the record has assumed the recording is accurate and has strongly condemned Sterling and his apparent beliefs. Clearly new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s first crisis is a dilly, and his top priority is verifying or debunking the recording.
Ironically, the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP was scheduled to honor Sterling with its coveted lifetime achievement award in May. That presentation has been cancelled.
At last night’s playoff game in Oakland, all of the Clippers players wore all team-related apparel inside-out, and wore red T-shirts, obscuring the Clippers name and logo, as a protest against their owner, due to what has been claimed against him.