Obama: Sterling Tape 'Incredibly Offensive'

Magic Johnson also swipes back

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 27, 2014 9:28 AM CDT | Updated Apr 27, 2014 10:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – The racist and alleged comments of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling have attracted the wrath of some really big names, including the leader of the free world. "The owner is reported to have said some incredibly offensive racist statements that were published," Obama said today in Malaysia, as per Politico. "When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk. And that’s what happened here." But he's far from the only one: Magic Johnson, the target of Sterling's alleged rant, has responded thusly, according to the LA Times:

  • "I will never again set foot in Staples Center when the Clippers are playing. I know where I'm not wanted." Further, "Something has to be done, and if that means him losing the team, then that has to happen. The league has to come down hard and make a statement."

Meanwhile, Deadspin has released an extended version of the tape, which now runs 15 minutes. Elsewhere in reaction:

  • Sacramento Mayor and NBPA chairman Kevin Johnson: "The reported comments made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling are reprehensible and unacceptable. There needs to be an immediate investigation and if the reports are true, there needs to be strong and swift action taken."
  • Lebron James: "If the reports are true, it’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable in our league. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, Hispanic, whatever, all across the races. There is no room for Donald Sterling in our league."
  • And an interesting statement from Clippers president Andy Roeser: "We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered. We do know that the woman on the tape—who we believe released it to TMZ—is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would 'get even.'"
  • Furthermore: "It is the antithesis of who (Sterling) is, what he believes and how he has lived his life. He feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them."

In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling and V. Stiviano watch the Clippers play in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
With a Malaysian flag behind him, President Obama speaks during a town hall meeting at Malaya University in Kuala Lumpur, Sunday, April 27, 2014.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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