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NBA will act quickly to racist rant

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The NBA responded Saturday evening to the firestorm created by racist remarks allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. League commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA “plans to get to the bottom” of the situation, but hasn’t yet come to a decision.

“All members of the NBA family should be awarded due process,” Silver said at a news conference in Memphis before the Game 4 playoff game between the Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder. “Which is why I’m not yet prepared to issue any potential sanctions against Donald Sterling. We will move extraordinarily quickly.”

Sterling will not attend Sunday’s Clippers-Golden State Warriors playoff game, Silver said.

TMZ posted audio Friday night of what is believed to be Sterling making racist comments to his girlfriend. The man was recorded questioning his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, about her association with black men.

According to TMZ, Stiviano, who is black and Mexican, posted a photo of her with Magic Johnson on Instagram, but the picture has been removed.

In the recording, the man believed to be Sterling says: “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to? 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 on that … and not to bring them to my games.”

The Clippers issued a statement saying, “Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings.”

Nevertheless, the reaction around the sports world has been one of anger.

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers and several players met for 45 minutes on Saturday and rejected the idea of boycotting their playoff game on Sunday against the Golden State Warriors.

Among the Clippers in San Francisco for Game 4 of the first-round series who attended the meeting was point guard Chris Paul and forward Blake Griffin.

“We’ve heard all the stuff, the boycotts and all the stuff and all those things are things you could do,” said Rivers, who is in his first year as Clippers coach. “But we choose to play and we’re going to play tomorrow. … It was brought up because I’m sure 20,000 people have suggested it, but, honestly, I’m completely against that and they were, too.

“Why should we let someone’s comments stop us from what we’re trying to do? We’re trying to do something here and we don’t want that getting in the way of what we’re trying to do.”

Paul and Griffin declined reporters’ questions on Sterling, but Paul, as president of the National Basketball Players Association, issued a statement through the NBPA.

“On behalf of the National Basketball Players Association, this is a very serious issue which we will address aggressively,” Paul said. “We have asked (Sacramento) Mayor Kevin Johnson to expand his responsibilities with the NBPA, to determine our response and our next steps. As players, we owe it to our teams and our fans to keep our focus on our game, the playoffs, and the drive to the Finals.”

LeBron James weighed in prior to the Miami Heat-Charlotte Bobcats playoff game on Saturday.

“As the commissioner of our league, they have to make a stand,” James said. “I believe in Adam (Silver) and I believe in the NBA and they have to do something very fast before this really gets out of hand. … There is no room for Donald Sterling in our league.”

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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