LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist remarks cause sponsors to pull out

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People are waiting for the NBA to take some kind of action following the weekend release of a recording of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling making horribly racist remarks. Sterling, 80, was caught on tape telling his 38 year-old mistress that she should delete all photos of black people from her Instagram and should not bring African American’s to Clippers games. The story gets more complicated; Sterling’s estranged wife is suing the mistress, V. Stiviano, for the $1.8 million she claims her husband spent on Stiviano over the four years that they were together. Stiviano has denied through her lawyers that she is the one who released the recordings.

The NBA has issued a measured response to this controversy. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said that “all members of the NBA family should be afforded due process and a fair opportunity to present their side of any controversy, which is why I’m not yet prepared to discuss any potential sanctions against Donald Sterling.” Meanwhile the sponsors aren’t waiting to decide what to do. At least seven companies have ended their relationship with the team and issued strong statements condemning Sterling’s racism. The Hollywood Reporter has a good account of all the sponsors who have pulled out. Also, if you’d like a bullet point breakdown of this scandal, ABC News has an overview. Here’s part of Hollywood Reporter’s coverage, and I’ve added bolding to the relevant companies.

CarMax was the first to pull out Monday morning.

“CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers’ owner completely unacceptable,” said the company in a statement Monday. “These views directly conflict with CarMax’s culture of respect for all individuals. While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for nine years and support the team, fans and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship.”

Meanwhile, State Farm interim CEO Steve Stoute said Monday morning on ESPN’s The Herd With Colin Cowherd that he’s putting pressure on fellow sponsors to pull out of their sponsorships as long as the team is associated with Sterling.

“I’m telling the brands, ‘Let’s pull sponsorship,’ starting with State Farm,” he said, as quoted by the Washington Post. “When you have things like this taking place, somebody has to stand up.”

He added that “somebody has to force the sale of this team.” He later clarified: “Sponsoring the athletes is one thing, but not the team.”

The company also issued a statement: “The remarks attributed to the Clippers’ owner are offensive. While those involved sort out the facts, we will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization. We are monitoring the situation and we’ll continually assess our options. We have a great relationship with Chris Paul and will continue supporting the Born to Assist advertising campaign involving Chris and now other NBA players.”

Red Bull is another big name to decline their support, according to a statement from the energy drink company. “We trust and respect the NBA’s process to formally investigate the matter, and in the interim, are suspending all team-related marketing activities.

“We will continue to support our Red Bull athlete, Blake Griffin, his teammates and coaching staff in their pursuit of an NBA title,” an e-mail to THR concluded.

Another sponsor, Anheuser-Busch, on Monday released a statement to ESPN’s Darren Rovell: “We fully support the NBA’s efforts to investigate quickly and trust that they will take appropriate action.”

Virgin America has also chosen to end its sponsorship of the team, as have Mercedes-Benz and Corona.

“While we continue to support the fans and the players, Virgin America has made the decision to end its sponsorship of the L.A. Clippers,” a spokesperson for the airline told THR.

Another sponsor, Kia Motors, released a statement condemning Sterling’s remarks and explaining that it was suspending sponsorship of the team.

“The comments allegedly made by Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, are offensive and reprehensible, and they are inconsistent with our views and values,” the statement read. “We are suspending our advertising and sponsorship activations with the Clippers. Meanwhile, as fans of the game of basketball, our support of the players and the sport is unwavering.”

AquaHydrate also issued a statement saying it’s suspending its sponsorship.

“In the wake of Donald Sterling’s alleged defamatory and intolerable comments we have decided to suspend our sponsorship with the L.A. Clippers until the NBA completes its investigation,” a rep for the company said Monday. “We fully support the players and fans of the L.A. Clippers and wish them the best in the remainder of the playoffs.”

Yokohama Tire Corporation announced they were also pulling out on Monday, stating: “Yokohama Tire Corporation does not tolerate discrimination in any fashion. The alleged remarks by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling are completely unacceptable and we find it necessary to immediately suspend our sponsorship of the organization as a result.

“We will continue to assess the situation and weigh our options. Meanwhile, we wish to express our continued support to the Clippers players and fans.”

Other sponsors who have yet to comment include Amtrak, Gatorade, and Taco Bell.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

So, the sponsors to unequivocally pull out are: CarMax, State Farm, Red Bull, Virgin America, Kia, AquaHydrate and Yokohama Tire Corporation. Anheuser-Busch has issued a statement supporting the NBA and not saying much more, and Amtrak, Gatorade, and Taco Bell have yet to say anything. As an avid consumer of Taco Bell, I will refrain from eating there until they take action. I know that’s not going to do much, but I can live without bean burritos for a while.

The article goes on to report that Clippers players wore their practice jerseys inside out (with the logos not visible) in protest when they took the court on Sunday. The Clippers lost to the Golden State Warriors 97-118 Sunday in the playoffs. They are now tied 2-2 with the Warriors and are due to play them again tonight.

Sterling was caught by the paparazzi out with his supposedly estranged wife at dinner in LA Sunday night. His wife defended him to photographers despite issuing an earlier statement calling him “small minded” and “racist.” The mistress, V. Stiviano, was seen visiting the DA yesterday for some reason. “Sources” aka Stiviano, denied that the visit was related to this case. Stiviano had to be in court to prove that she completed community service stemming from a 2012 DUI arrest, so that may have been why she was seen outside the LA county DA’s office.

TMZ is reporting that the audio of Sterling has been authenticated by NBA lawyers, so the pressure is on for some kind of action against the racist octogenarian.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 8.34.01 AM

Donald Sterling - Los Angeles Clippers Owner

Photo credit:, Instagram and FameFlynet

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138 Responses to “LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist remarks cause sponsors to pull out”

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  1. Loopy says:

    They will only try to make an ‘example’ of him for a few weeks, like they did Paula Dean but i don’t think anything serious will happen,he is the owner right? He has too much money and power,this will be brushed under the carpet like many others.

    • paola says:

      I don’t think after this episode many players will want to be with him at the end of their contract.. many sponsors will refuse a collaboration with him, many viewers won’t be watching the games and maybe not tomorrow but at the end of the game season there will be a substantial difference. Nobody with a brain will want to be involved with him, even if only for money reasons. Something wil happen. He’ll akways be rich but fewer and fewer people will want their name linked to his name. The backlash will be huge.

      • Snazzy says:

        I really hope you’re right – the cynic in me says maybe not because in the end it’s all about the money — but I really really really want to be wrong on this one!!!

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        I feel bad for the players. This is no new revelation for the players. They are the ones with the least amount of options and power here.

    • I tend to agree that this will be similar to the Paula Deen situation.
      The tricky part is the precedent that this could set for secretly-taped closed door conversations being used to unseat team owners.

      The ideal scenario would be for this asswipe to step down, but I don’t see that happening. He strikes me as someone who is wholly unapologetic and appallingly stubborn. I really think he views himself as a victim here…smh…

      • Kiddo says:

        It’s unbelievable the amount of comments I’ve seen across the net saying that the tapes mean nothing and asking, “why is it news?”.

      • Are you serious?

        See, I’ve been doing an extended “comments cleanse” where I just avoid all comments sections except here.
        It’s been good for my soul. I was starting to really hate humanity for while there….

      • Kiddo says:

        Unfortunately, I’m dead serious.

      • kri says:

        I’m sure he does see himself as the wronged party here. He is totally disgusting, and as I think more about it, so are the women in his life. I am intrigued by her denial of releasing the tapes. And then I wonder why she would if she was fine with taking his abuse this long in exchange for taking his money and accepting his sickening philosophies. They are both as gross as herpes on a Lohan.

    • Dani says:

      Doc Rivers (coach) already stated he probably won’t come back next season because of this. It’s just a matter of time till Chris Paul either willingly leaves or is given an offer by another team. The minute that happens Blake Griffin leaves and that’s basically when the teams tarts falling apart. No one will play next season as long as he still owns it. They’re going to make a huge example out of him.

      • mimif says:

        I agree. Both Butter Face and Sterling are flaming racists a-holes, but the situation is different for a variety of reasons. The coach and the players have a much broader platform for expressing their outrage, and ultimately there is a lot more money at stake. That said, I wish that in Deen’s case the people working for her had the same opportunity and influence to kick that butter vat into outer space where she belongs.

    • Lucinda says:

      This right here. The whole controversy is contrived and BS anyway.

      My husband and I listened to a good 15 minutes of what is an hour long tape (not all of it has been released). The backstory is that the wife sued the mistress and then the mistress said she would get back at her. Suddenly this tape is released? The mistress clearly knew she was being recorded and DS didn’t. They are arguing about her bringing Magic Johnson specifically, a man who played for the OTHER LA team. You can hear DS asking her repeatedly why she keeps bringing up race and why she is trying to start a fight? He seems to be trying to end the relationship. She’s baiting him.

      I have no doubt that DS is an ass. However, this is a token reaction to what has been known for a long time. The guy has already been prosecuted federally for discrimination. Why are the NBA and DS’s various sponsors just now reacting to his racism? Because know they will look bad if they don’t. The companies pulling their sponsorship are covering their asses and nothing more. I’m annoyed by the whole thing not because I don’t think he’s a jerk but because I think this is all hypocrisy by EVERYONE involved.

      • Kiddo says:

        While there is hypocrisy, there has been a constant push/pull of the acceptability of spouting racism and dog whistles employed to promote political strategies. This comes on the heels of the right’s heroic rancher, who was soon abandoned, after he said blacks were better off as slaves, which is only a couple of steps away from what Paul Ryan has been saying. This owner has a lot of control over black people, that’s why what he is saying isn’t limited to a free speech/ right to be a racist asshole argument. It’s a larger issue than that, one that is playing out in the political arena, where the Supreme Court decided that we were in a post racial country and they upheld a ban on affirmative action in schools after the legal battle originated in Michigan, taking away the states’ rights to make this decision.
        So this is not happening in a vacuum.

      • Alicia says:

        Sterling is a racist/bigoted ass, this has been known for decades. He has literally been saying these things for years and just now people are getting up in arms?

        He settled a very expensive racial discrimination suit a couple of years back because he refused to allow blacks and Hispanics to live in his apartment buildings. Elgin Baylor sued him for discrimination and talked about all the awful things Sterling said and did. He has been sued repeatedly for sexual harassment. All of this stuff is public knowledge. ESPN did a story on him in 2009 and he said extremely racist and hateful things in that story and people stayed silent.

        The fact that they are doing something now about this is extremely hypocritical – everyone in the NBA has known for years what a scumbag he is and they sat on their hands and did nothing about it. So now they’re going to do something about this when they should have acted on his ignorant ass years ago.

        Personally I think he should be shunned and be forced to sell the team but this is something that should have been done years ago. It makes everyone involved look bad – from Sterling, the other owners, ex-Commissioner David Stern (who knew damn well what Sterling was all about), to sponsors, to the majority of the media who cared little about his bigotry until now, etc.

      • Kiddo says:

        @Alicia, I agree that’s true. But I didn’t even know who he was or even that he existed before these tapes. So the turning point now is that it is getting national exposure, beyond what insiders or fans might have known, and it is also being processed by the public and sponsors within the context of other high profile issues.

      • hiddlesgirl85 says:


      • Michelle says:

        She definitely set him up because of the lawsuit against her for extortion by his wife. She was perfectly happy with their setup until she was sued. They are both disgusting. I hope the lawsuit against her continues and Donald steps down from ownership. He is an 80 year old racist expressing his views PRIVATELY to his “trusted” whore.

      • dagdag says:

        @Kiddo, certainly not in a vacuum and Sterling is only one of many national racist owners/sponsors.

        When you get into the national and international sports entertainment industry and their financial organizations you find a quagmire of human rights violations, doping, spatial implications, racism, exploitation of athlets and so on.

        Where to start, I do not know, local, national, boycott?

      • Kate says:

        @Lucinda and Alicia: Thank you for setting the facts straight. The guy is despicable but that fact has been known for some time by the same league, owners, players, fans, and most media types who are now calling for action. The NBA orchestrated Chris Paul’s trade to the Clippers to help prop up the franchise (and avoid another “super team” via the Lakers). Doc Rivers chose to coach the Clippers. People have been cashing Sterling’s checks and profiting from his ownership for a long long time (“V” included) and didn’t seem to care about his past actions, which were far worse than the words he said to his side piece in the privacy of his home. Now suddenly private conversations that were surreptitiously taped and broadcast in a sensationalistic fashion require immediate action be taken against this dirt bag? Please.

      • Francis says:

        Oh please. The man is racist. Anyone who says his remarks are no big deal has major issues. IMO What he said was totally offensive.
        I’m so sick of some trying to make excuses for racism and racist. It was disgusting what he said.

      • mayamae says:

        Kiddo said, “This comes on the heels of the right’s heroic rancher, who was soon abandoned, after he said blacks were better off as slaves, which is only a couple of steps away from what Paul Ryan has been saying. ”

        Bill Maher included this in his standup portion of his show. Paraphrasing, he said – After the rancher’s racist tirade became public, the Right stepped back and said ……… Here’s our frontrunner for 2016!

    • msw says:

      The NBA is fairly progressive, much more so than any other major American sports league. I think they will take action. They can’t do anything without all the info. give it time. I know this isn’t the first time he’s proven himself to be a racist, but this is the first time the players and staff have publicly protested.

      • mayamae says:

        I don’t know much about the NBA to know how progressive they are or aren’t. But I think this owner chose the wrong sport to be a racist in. The NBA is roughly 78% comprised of black players. Basketball is either the number one sport in the black community, or a close second to football. So this isn’t a sport that is likely to roll over and pretend. Even if the players have little power, the fans buy the tickets and buy the products that are endorsed. This is about the bottom line – money. In this instance, it’s a good thing. Sometimes it doesn’t matter why the right thing is done – as long as it is done.

    • Esmom says:

      This just in: He’s been banned for life from the NBA and fined the maximum, $2.5 million. They’re (the NBA) also going to try to force the sale of the Clippers.

      Wow. Although I can’t help but think it’s too little, too late.

      • mayamae says:

        I don’t think it’s too late. The precedent is set, and it will be that much easier next time to deal with this type of situation.

      • Crank says:

        I know I’m late on all this news, but why is he JUST now being banned? Should’ve been banned forever ago for many reasons…I mean he was bringing his mistress to games for christs sake, and apparently nobody had a problem with that? I’m glad he got banned for his horrible racist comments, but he’s offensive on so many levels…not just racism. I’m glad NVA is nipping racism in the bud, but I wish they would nip other crap in the bud too.

      • Esmom says:

        mayamae, I think you’re right in that it’s not too late…better late then never. But he will still walk away a billionaire and make a pretty penny on the sale of his team, that feels like “too little” in the way of punishment. But I don’t know any way around that.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I just heard on NPR that Commissioner Silver has banned him from association with the Clippers and basketball for life. Yay!

  2. lower-case deb says:

    how long would it last? Paula Deen is back everywhere now.

    • Addison says:

      I don’t remember there being recordings of Paula’s out there. Maybe that is the difference. It certainly gives it more punch to hear the words with your own ears than to hear from someone else what was said.

      • I don’t want to get into an argument about who is worse, Sterling or Deen (they both suck IMO) but I would argue that the court depositions are as effective as any recording.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        There were transcripts of her depositions, but maybe you’re right and actually hearing the words will bring it home more. And while I thought Paula Deen was disgusting and deserved the backlash, I think this is much worse, don’t you? Paula’s ideas behind her words were ignorant and stereotyping, but this is full out hate and racism. I’m not saying it’s ok to be the former, but the latter is worse to me, and hopefully will get a longer lasting reaction.

        ETA: Oops, OKitten, I didn’t see yours before I posted.

      • Kiddo says:

        People watched Paula Deen for Paula Deen. People don’t watch NBA games to look at owners.

      • I don’t know….which is worse: to unabashedly embrace your racism or to be a racist in denial?
        I’m genuinely asking here.

        Sterling is very aware and unapologetic about his racism. He seems not only comfortable with–but proud of–his beliefs.
        I’m not sure Deen is intelligent or perspicacious enough to recognize her antiquated, ignorant, yet deeply-held beliefs as indicative of racism.
        Yet she still clings to those beliefs without remorse or compunction—very similar to Sterling in that regard.

        How each person’s racism manifests itself is almost irrelevant to me because the end result is the same: neither is able to see beyond their very limited viewpoint and neither appears genuinely contrite or apologetic for their behavior. Neither Deen nor Sterling appear to have learned anything.

        I guess I find them both pretty awful.

      • Sorry, I also meant to add that I think the public is more comfortable with Deen’s brand of racism because it’s more ambiguous and leaves the door open for people to speculate about what she meant or what circumstances led her to think like this (how often did we hear the “she’s from the Old South” bandied about as a defense of her behavior?) whereas Sterling’s brand of racism is displayed with a lot of conviction and certitude, which most people find off-putting. I mean, you can’t really “read between the lines” with his statements-it’s all very direct and forthright.

        As I said, it’s hard to pick a bigger loser here but my inclination is to think that Deen’s brand of racism is of the more insidious variety and it’s the undercover racism that is really the bigger problem in modern-day society IMO.

        EDIT: sorry about the super-long comments. I didn’t comment on this story much yesterday but it’s been on my mind a lot.

      • Kiddo says:

        @O’Kitt, Paula Deen was the brand. I don’t watch basketball, but if you do, you don’t watch because you love the curmudgeonly owner. You watch the team.
        So everyone who thought Deen was adorable, gave her the benefit of the doubt, or didn’t care outright to begin with. The Clippers’ fans are watching the team, care about the sport and play and aren’t invested in who the owner is, like fans of Deen were/are.

      • I don’t follow the Clippers so I can’t speak on behalf of their fanbase, but I can tell you that in Boston sports the ownership is a HUGE deal. Pats owner Bob Kraft is a very prominent and well-known figure in the community. Likewise, Sox fans are very invested in John Henry and his team-building philosophy and of course, we complained about Jacobs for years until the Bruins started winning championships.

        It might be different out here because the sports franchises are so storied but the team owners are all well-known and very involved in the local community, they are not faceless, nameless people.

        ITA that it is certainly not the same level of familiarity as seeing a grandmotherly type cook on TV every night, where you start to feel like you know her-but there’s name and face recognition with our team owners-there’s a sense of feeling like you know them. In Boston, we see the team owners being interviewed and shown on the field all the time….

        It would be VERY damaging to, for instance, the Patriots brand if Bob Kraft made statements like Sterling did.

      • Kiddo says:

        You may be right, they may feel some sense of connection to the owner. My comment was speculative, at best, except for the point of Deen, who was over the top nice ya’ll, and the absolute focus of programming, front and center.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        OKitten, I totally see your point. I guess if you are on the receiving end of racism, the person’s intentions don’t matter that much.

    • Algernon says:

      I think the big difference here is how many of the people who work/play for the Clippers are black. If I remember correctly, the Dean suit was actually filed by a white(?) employee who was uncomfortable with the language Dean and her brother used in the restaurant. Sterling has been in trouble for discriminatory business practices before, so it shouldn’t be surprising, but they were probably able to rationalize it since he hadn’t been “like that” with the Clips. But now he’s crossing streams and they can’t ignore what a vile person he is anymore. I can’t imagine many players/coaches will want to remain with the team as long as he is the owner. As soon as they can get out of their contracts, they will, and then they’ll have a really hard time recruiting new players as long as Sterling is affiliated with them. On ESPN they were speculating that Sterling will transfer the team to his soon-to-be-ex-wife in their divorce, but if I were a player I would want that team entirely outside of his sphere of influence. He’ll continue to run things, just through his wife/children.

    • Alexis says:

      Paula Deen still works, but she lost a lot of money (her restaurant chain, unsold merchandise, her show) and her fanbase has contracted severely. And every time she is mentioned on say, Daily Mail, they call her “disgraced” chef. Last I heard she was doing some live shows around the South. Hardly no consequences.

      • Alexis says:

        Admittedly, money matters less to Sterling than it does Deen. No scenario (including the impossible one in which he’s forced to sell the Clippers at a loss — he bought the franchise for $12M in the early eighties) would bankrupt Sterling. But the reputational harms to Sterling (and the Clippers, should he choose to remain in charge of them) will be more devastating and enduring. It comes down to the fact that no one will speak for him, and no one has any compelling reason to come back to the franchise if he’s still associated with it.

        The NBA has a different kind of fanbase than Paula Deen and the guy from Duck Dynasty. The fanbase of Deen and the DD folks are less likely to give a hoot about being perceived as racist, as many buy the Fox News narrative that “racism” these days is just an excuse minorities use to take advantage of white people. Also, certain people see defending Deen and DD as bastions of white Southern culture, which these people feel is at the risk of erasure. People who watch the NBA are a more diverse group and are more likely to at least want to seem to the world like they think racism is a real thing. Also Sterling is a less appealing person to rally around for the we’re-ok-with-racism crowd. Unlike Deen and the DD man he’s not downhome, traditional and Southern. He’s a Jewish man with a wife and a paid black mistress who lives in LA. There’s actually been an attempt to suggest that Sterling is really a Democrat to discourage conservatives from supporting him. Most Tea Party types you see in comments sections will say he’s a Democrat (in fact, he donated to Democrats long ago, but he’s been a registered Republican for a while.). With a nonexistant public support group and a franchise with no long record of good will(there are almost no Clippers fans, and few of them are die hard), it is hard to see where Sterling goes from here other than to sell the franchise.

        Finally, Sterling just comes off meaner in the reported comments. He seems like a bad person on every metric, whereas Deen and DD come across more like ok people with bad, outdated values. It is actually possible to give Deen and DD man the benefit of the doubt. DD man’s comments really weren’t that bad given his age. TL;DR — even Donald Trump condemned his comments.

      • ^this is what I’m talking about…People are simply more comfortable with Deen’s brand of racism.

        That, and people have incredibly short memories.

        Robertson is 68 years old, Deen is 67 and Sterling is 80-the oldest of the bunch so can we please just stop with the “they’re from a different era” excuse?

        I’m sorry-I’m not trying to single you out–but the amount of rationalization, empathy and justification that is allotted certain celebrities is really atrocious to me. I think what Kiddo mentioned above (Deen’s personality as a ‘brand’) is definitely a contributing factor to that phenomenon but let’s not pretend that Deen is “nicer” than Sterling. Did you read the court depo transcripts? She is hardly a nice woman, just a master at faking it.

        What “warm grandmotherly type” says stuff like this?:

        “If you think I have worked this hard to lose everything because of a piece of p*ssy, you better think again.” Asked in her deposition whether she actually said it, Deen responded with an abso-friggin-lutely: “I said that day and I would say it again today if it applied.” She then repeated the sentence.

        This is just a small snippet, mind you. Don’t believe the carefully-crafted image, the crocodile tears–she is full of sh*t and no, her and Robertson are not somehow better than Sterling. The only difference is that Sterling and Deen are both in a position of power where they have used that power to deprive the marginalized from what they inherently deserve (whether black or female). Robertson can’t do much with his racism and misogyny except for beat up the occasional woman.

      • Kiddo says:

        @O’Kitt, I like neither of them, But I never liked Deen from the get, even before the revelations. She seemed incredibly false/fake to me; my BS radar was off the charts. Sterling I never heard of until a few days ago.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Your BS radar is very accurate, Kiddo.

        The problem I have with someone saying “X isn’t as bad as Y” is that whether intentionally or not, you are automatically minimizing the behavior of X. I think it’s ok to say that all three of the people we’re discussing here are pretty awful people. I definitely wouldn’t be friends with any them.

        ..and it’s not just the racism that I take issue with-even though that in and of itself would be enough for me to write a person off-it’s the other behavior as well.
        My mother is Deen’s age and she would never refer to a woman as a “piece of p*ssy” nor would she turn a blind eye to sexism and racism in the workplace. My father is just a year older than Robertson and he would never beat the sh*t out of a woman like Robertson did. Keep in mind that both of my parents came from incredibly abusive households-violence and bad behavior are not foreign concepts to them.

        So what accounts for the difference in behavior between my parents and these assholes who are of the same generation? My parents are just GOOD, MORAL PEOPLE-it’s that simple.
        Robertson, Sterling, and Deen, however, are not and it doesn’t have to be a contest of “who’s worse”-it’s ok to say they all suck equally.

      • Kiddo says:

        I would say whatever the local culture is promoting can have an impact too. What i mean by that is everyone within close proximity. Were they raised to believe this, did their friends convince them of it later, did money change everything, political propaganda, and so on. It depends on how good your parents are, but also how impressionable you are to other external forces, or maybe even someone could have been born an a-hole, looking to control others and skin color or gender just happened to be the default switch.

      • Kiddo says:

        So he has now been banned for life, 2.5 million dollar fine.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Ok yeah, but I would say that who you choose as your friends is still a function of who you are as a person. Whether you are of strong moral character, if you are resolute and unsusceptible…well you might just be born that way or you could develop those attributes through life experiences.
        In the end, the life choices people make almost always correlate with who they are as people.

        “someone could have been born an a-hole, looking to control others and skin color or gender just happened to be the default switch.”

        Definitely, but in modern-day society there still has to exist a cognitive understanding of racism there…
        Or maybe not. Maybe some people grow up 5th generation racists and truly don’t see why their way of thinking is completely discordant with the rest of society and what’s considered ethically right and socially acceptable. I do think that they would be the exception though. I’m not sure the vast majority of racists fall into that category. And even then, that scenario still describes learned behavior…

        EDIT: I saw that…there’s some interesting discussions going on at my office about this.

      • Snazzy says:

        @ kiddo – but banned only from going to games right? He still owns the team and is not forced to sell? And isn’t 2.5 mil pocket change for a guy like him? Do you think it will mean anything?

      • Kiddo says:

        @Snazzy, I’m no basketball fan, but I would guess that being there is part of the draw, the social status of being an owner, showing up and being seen with your 20 something year old paid sexpot.

      • Snazzy says:

        @kiddo – hmmm good point, courtside seats and all that are part of the perks, aren’t they? Like you, I’m not a basketball fan so who knows. But I imagine if the sponsors stand firm they could start losing money and maybe force him to sell ….

        That could be step two, thus leaving him no choice but to harass minorities housing in his buildings 🙁

        Sorry don’t mean to be snippity but the more I read about this creep the sicker I feel …

      • Lucinda says:

        I love the intelligent conversation I find on this site about controversial issues. I have been told before that in-your-face racism is easier to deal with than subtle or backhanded racism. For whatever that’s worth. I think all of them are horrible people but you all make some excellent points about why different forms of racism seem easier to swallow among the public.

  3. BangersandMash says:

    Hmmm!!! Their side of any controversy??

    What could he possibly say to excuse or defend his words or cause the public at large to believe he was not making racist slurs??

    • Janet says:

      As a great American newsman named Edward R. Murrow once said, some stories don’t have an “other side”.

  4. Sara says:

    This man is despicable. I can’t help wondering why on earth a racist man would want an NBA team; if I were a misogynist I wouldn’t run a woman’s college…

    • Rose says:

      He’s in it for the almighty dollar. His team consists of black and white players. Cue the negative responses but in the NBA the majority of the best players are black. He doesn’t care who plays for him as long as he can fill the seats and get money from merchandising.

    • See, it makes perfect sense to me. He buys/trades black people like slaves. He sees them as objects, not human beings. I’m sure he is very, very removed from the players—he probably leaves the face-to-face interactions for the coaches, scouts, and managers.
      These guys are nothing but race horses to this man.

  5. AlexandraJane says:

    It is interesting to see who is responding to this quickly and who isn’t. glad to see brands and putting their ad $ where their mouths are.
    Also, he has got to be in the top 10 most unattractive people of all time.

  6. Frida_K says:

    I hope that this wrinkly old lump of hatefulness gets shunned right left and center by one and all.

    That’s my hope.

    And I also hope that V. Stiviano faces a hard stretch of backlash too. Not for exposing this tvrd for what he is but, instead, for staying with him for four years. Why would a woman of color stay with someone like this? Or anyone with any self respect? She laid down with that dog and she got up with fleas, no two ways about it.

  7. s says:

    Grotesque people all of ’em.

  8. Mia4S says:

    Can the NBA do anything to remove him though? He’s an owner. Sure players would have morality clauses, contract penalties..but an owner? The other problem to is that while he has shown himself to be complete garbage, he committed no crime. Will he have the common sense to realize he has to remove himself? No…at least not until enough money walks out with sponsors and profits.

    • Seapharris7 says:

      While he owns them, his goal is to make money. When sponsors pull out & fans stop going he will lose money – kind of forcing the sell of the team. And while saying what he said wasn’t necessarily illegal, this isn’t his first rodeo. He has a reputation which has cause lawsuits & fines, for evicting or not allowing minorities into his buildings… That is illegal.

      • Mia4S says:

        Now that’s interesting. If he has been found to have engaged in housing discrimination I would have preferred to see him kicked to the curb then by sponsors, players, and the NBA. Discriminating against minority families in housing doesn’t raise the same ire as a gold digger recording your rants?

    • Dani says:

      I heard on ESPN the other day that they can suspend ownership and forcibly sell the team, if that’s what it comes down to. But on the other hand they can’t do that yet because as gross as it is it’s free speech and he said in a private conversation that no one else was involved in besides him and Stiviano. He’s a known racist pig but it’s not illegal to have disgusting opinions so. Also the players HAVE to play till end of season or they’ll get fined by the NBA.

    • Algernon says:

      The owners’ association can force him out if his ownership is significantly detrimental to the team. He can say whatever he wants, but if the consequences become so severe that the organization suffers as a result (which it is), they can deem him an unfit owner and oust him. Hopefully this is what happens, but the owners’ association has been disappointingly quiet on the topic. Makes me think many of them probably secretly feel the same way.

      @Dani The players have to play, but several sports outlets have already reported that many of them are going through their contracts looking for an out. If Sterling doesn’t go, they’re going to have a mass exodus over the next couple years as contracts end.

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        If Sterling “sells” the team to his wife he finds a way around the sanctions.

      • Dani says:

        I read online somewhere Mark Cuban (Mavericks owner) is looking into buying but they’re worth more than half his net worth so you never know. I’m sure the players are looking for an out. He calls them the ‘enemy’ and even acts like they belong to him because he ‘feeds them’ and ‘pays them’.

  9. BeckyR says:

    What a creep. The girlfriend is even creepier. Have to ask why the wife is sticking around?

    • Tiffany says:

      Married 50 years, doubt there is a prenup. Sticking it out to get every dime she can. Maybe?

      • Seapharris7 says:

        If they divorce, she gets half – if she outlives him, she gets it all. And until then he stays out if her hair & she continues to live in the lifestyle she’s grown accustom too

    • Sam says:

      Many of these women have “arrangements” with their spouses. They basically live apart and lead separate lives but they stay married for legal and social reasons. The wife has become accustomed to a certain kind of wealthy lifestyle, and she certainly doesn’t want to give that up. Donald has been stepping out on her for at least 4 years now – and that is only with V., we don’t know about any prior women. At this point, she probably can’t claim adultery as grounds for divorce – she knows about it and seems to be ok with it as long as he keeps it quiet. Frankly, she probably is willing to tolerate it as long as he didn’t cause her any embarassment, which he now has. It’s a marriage that has basically become a business transaction, and that is sad.

      Remember folks – these people can reduce marriage to a business transaction, a fraud and a sham, but two men or two women pose the real threat to marriage. Never forget that.

      • Seapharris7 says:

        Exactly Sam. And the wife isn’t even embarrassed he steps out on her publically – it’s the *gifts* $$ he’s given her that make Mommy Moneybucks upset & this little tantrum he threw possibly jacking with her possible inheritance.

  10. Meredith says:

    regardless of how this turns out for his ownership
    (part of me would rather see him banned vs sell the team because he only bought it for like $15 million and its worth over $300 million so I’d hate to see him profit on being a racist a-hole)

    that girlfriend person of his better have good legal reason for recording him in california where its illegal to do so because this is causing him financial harm. We all saw how leann rimes went crazy over someone making her look like the ass that she is in a private recording.

    • V4real says:

      Mel Gibson’s ex girlfriend recorded his rants and the recordings were used in court. Didn’t those tapes cause Gibson financial harm b/c he can’t get an acting gig to save his life. I think in some cases such as Mel’s recordings are allowed.

    • Seapharris7 says:

      I think that’s why V’s back pedaling now, saying it wasn’t her that released the tapes. I think she believed she could strong arm him into helping her fight his wife’s lawsuit.

  11. snowflake says:

    that man is disgusting and so is his mistress. somebody needs to tell her she went overboard on the fillers and duckface isn’t cute!

  12. Sam says:

    The worst part is that there doesn’t seem to be any way to punish him without negatively affecting the players – most of whom are black men and have nothing to do with this. Sterling is a super-rich old man who is going to stay a super-rich old man, regardless of what happens to him. I do not know if he could be compelled to sell the team – I really doubt that – and I doubt he’ll do the right thing and just sell the team so they can move on without him. So sadly it will probably be the players who will suffer the most for this.

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      “Sterling is a super-rich old man who is going to stay a super-rich old man, regardless of what happens to him.” – Sam

      So true. However, Sterling has been openly flaunting his side pieces for years, so it’s obvious he cares very much about being perceived as virile and ‘powerful’ by his ‘friends’. That’s what he told V. Stivanio anyway – that he didn’t want his friends calling him to tell him she’s ‘with black men’.

      In that respect, he must be agonizing over the public scorn and humiliation. Even his racist friends won’t want to be tarnished by the same brush. Rats can’t run fast enough to leave a sinking ship.

      • Sam says:

        True, but at the end of the day, Sterling might get his feelings hurt, but he’s going to still have his piles of money to cry into. And I doubt he will see any meaningful change from this. He will blame everyone else.

        The crazy thing is that he probably doesn’t think he’s racist. If you’ve heard the extended tape, he defends himself by arguing that he has paid many black people (players, coaches) very well and enabled them to have very nice things. All that is true, but it doesn’t excuse his attitudes. In his mind, he probably really thinks he isn’t racist. Thus, he probably can’t understand what the big fuss is about. A lot of people are basing their arguments on the premise that Sterling knows how wrong he is and just got found out. But I’d wager he truly doesn’t.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        Yeah, I’ve listened to the extended tape, Sam. So gross.

        In the tape Sterling resents being called a racist, he tells V. he’s a ‘realist’. Sterling paints himself as being ‘a man of the world’ and ‘this is just the way it is’ and he’s not going to waste his time ‘trying to change the world’.

        Except Sterling has a clearly documented history of purposely paying his black Clipper employees (i.e. Elgin Baylor) so much less than his white ones, along with boatload of other racial deprecations and overtly discriminatory hiring practices too long to list here. Donald Sterling feels a moral duty to accept his lot in life as a rich white person of power and keep the help away from him.

        The Owner and the Owned: A Discussion About Donald Sterling unpacks so much about what this story is REALLY about. Sterling is not an isolated old white guy. This is happening. This is the ugly stain of racism alive and kicking, right here, right now, in our entire culture.

  13. Macey says:

    I can’t help but wonder how the mistress got away with recording him? not just that but also sounds like she tried to extort him before she released it, isnt that illegal? Dont get me wrong, this guy deserves everything he has coming to him and then some but I feel the mistress is just as slimy if not more for doing what she did. How is she not being charged with extortion and illegally recording him. I only know that is illegal b/c of the LR and Smiley thing.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I wonder that, too. Not that he didn’t deserve it, but why hasn’t she been arrested for blackmail?

    • Andrea says:

      I think in California, it’s legal to secretly record someone as long as one of the people in the conversation knows about it being recorded.

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      Macey and GoodNames, TMZ claims V. said Sterling WANTED her to record him to help him remember all their conversations!

      “As for why Stiviano taped so many conversations … as TMZ Sports reported, she told friends the Clippers owner WANTED her to record him and he knew he was being recorded … partly because he frequently forgot what he said and the tapes refreshed his memory … at least that’s her story.” –

      Andrea, lol! It’s legal as long as one person knows they’re being secretly recorded? Uh, the person doing the recording would always know!

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        O…k…. So he’s not just racist, he’s a moron. Well, we knew he was a moron, but….whaaaat?

      • Meredith says:

        if someone has memory problems than they cannot necessarily be legally competent to make such decisions so….i hope thats not her excuse unless she has him on record saying it is okay for you to record me.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        “TMZ Sports has also learned … people who have heard the entire recording say there is “NO DOUBT” Donald Sterling KNEW he was being recorded.” –

        Yep, Meredith. Stivanio has Sterling on record saying it’s OK.

  14. Grumpycat says:

    I think it goes without saying that this horrible old man just needs to retire, spend his last days in bed and keep his old racist views to his nurse. There is no changing someone that old and probably starting to get dementia.
    Can we talk about how weirdly narcissistic this “V Stiviano” is for having people wear jerseys with her name on it and then taking pictures with them? Premeditated weirdness. She had to get a bunch of jerseys printed with her name and then get other people to wear them. WTF? Her instagram is a really sad ode to herself and her description of herself is laughable. She looks like she has gotten too much work done as well, her nose is too small for her face and she looks like a drag queen. If I saw her on the streets I would seriously think she was one.
    And then she is a prostitute for 4 years for this crusty fat very old man who is racist and insults people of her own race. She actually has sex with this abhorrent man continuously just for money despite the fact he openly hates other races like hers. How can you live with yourself every day, “V Stiviano”?
    And she is seriously trying to claim she didn’t leak the audio? WHO ELSE? It was just the two of them. I’m sure he didnt. And how completely ridiculous that she is trying to claim that she didn’t have a relationship with him; she was his “archivist” bahahahaha. I laugh but I cry too. This is just such a train wreck. These people just need to go away.

    • Seapharris7 says:

      Exactly Grumpy. While I don’t condone anything he did or said, she’s worse IMO. And you can’t tell me she didn’t egg him on that little tirade even if he was a fool for saying it, she knew how to push those buttons & that she was recording him.

      • Francis says:

        Oh please, now it her fault this old jerk was ,is racist? I don’t think so.
        He’s a creepy racist bigot who got caught. Good for her, I’m sooooo glad she recorded this racist jerk.

  15. Lexie says:

    CB, there are more reasons than this controversy to refrain from Taco Bell. 🙂

    And I don’t think this will be another Paula Deen. Her fan base is different from the NBA base. This guy is going down. And good riddance.

  16. Lucy2 says:

    I hope the NBA is able to do something to get rid of him, but that doesn’t hurt the team and all the people who work for it.
    I’m surprised a pro team has THAT many corporate sponsors.

  17. Grumpycat says:

    Also one other thing, coming from someone with a career and two degrees in marketing, what in the world are Taco Bell, Gatorade, and Amtrak thinking? This is crisis management 101 here. You immediately disassociate yourself and condemn the behavior. In fact, its good PR to try to be the first company to condemn it. At the very least, if you are afraid of pissing off the racists in your customer base, you just make a statement that you are suspending sponsorship while this is being investigated. Either these companies are completely inept, or they are racist too. I will not be doing business with this idiotic companies.

    • Tapioca says:

      People get outraged, people boycott, people get hungry for horrible food or a train journey and people forget.

      You only have to look at the millions Nike gave Michael Vick AFTER he started playing again following the dog fighting incident to see how quickly…

      • Cecilia says:

        I know, right?? Michael Vick makes my skin crawl & he is right back out there playing ball & racking up endorsements. People just looked the other way. It will be easier for Sterling as he is mainly behind the scenes as an owner & he is not going to prison. He’ll just lay low for awhile & it will be back to business as usual. Although, sniff, sniff…I think there are more horrendous things to come.

      • mayamae says:

        I don’t want to disparage football fans, but they don’t seem to really care what the players do. How many murderers currently play or have played after the deed in the NFL?

  18. Andrea says:

    What he said was in the privacy of his own home. Although what he said is horrible and racist (and don’t forget sexist), he still had a right to say it in his home. I agree with what Mark Cuban said, do we want to live in a country where what you say in your own home can lead to someone taking away your property?

    Personally, I have faith that money talks and once he and the Clippers feel financial pressure , he’ll go. I’m glad sponsors are pulling out and I hope people start boycotting his team’s games.

    • eva k says:

      There isn’t a person alive who hasn’t said something in a “private” conversation with an intimate that would offend some group of people. Also, this ho-bag was recording the conversation and race-bating him the whole time (listen to the whole recording) trying to get him to say something “racist”. She had an objective to blackmail and destroy him. And she succeeded. In this era of ‘thought police’ and technology, let this serve as a cautionary tale!

  19. Mich says:

    I LOVE your one-woman stand against Taco Bell. If I ever ate there, I would follow your lead!

    Personally, I love it when bigots get a little of the hate they wrap themselves in thrown back their way. I have been wondering who the “friends” are who call him to say ‘your girlfriend is talking to black people’.

  20. Helvetica says:


  21. Adrien says:

    Please, baby Jesus, let this be some Mel Gibson, Paula Dean kind of fallout.

  22. RK says:

    “As an avid consumer of Taco Bell, I will refrain from eating there until they take action. I know that’s not going to do much…” Dont feel like that, I respect you for this. This is the only way we have to make the Corporations pay attention to us. If we all behave like you do, then we’ll have more of a chance to chance things.

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      The Farmers always pay attention when their farm animals are off their feed. Anything that cuts into the oligarch’s obscene profit margins is noticed. RK and Celebitchy I salute you!

      Yo No Quiero Taco Bell!

  23. msw says:

    he’s given money to the NAACP! He can’t be racist! /ss (they gave it back)

  24. Diane says:

    As horrible as it is, he is free to say what he wants. Now we are all free to boycott and his sponsors are free to pull out, The way to hit this guy is through his wallet.

  25. Ash says:

    That’s what she said!!!

    On a serious note: what a d-bag.

  26. Mich says:

    What a nice press conference I just watched. Yay NBA!

  27. zbornak syndrome says:

    What I don’t understand is: If you are such a racist, WHY own a basketball team?

  28. hiddlesgirl85 says:

    The NBA just banned him for life. By doing this, the organization just sent a really great message to the fans, players, other NBA employees, and the whole world. Take that bigots!!

    • lunchcoma says:

      Yes, I’m glad the response to this incident was so swift (though I’m annoyed that the NBA likely knew of his long, documented history of racism, and is only reacting now because there’s greater publicity).

  29. Jana says:

    Mr. Sterling that was one hell of an expensive piece of ass…I hope you have learned the obvious lesson that a pretty 30 year old is only interested in an 80 year old man for ONE reason, money. And because your ego won’t allow you to believe that, Karma has to prove it to you. I feel no pity at all for someone as ignorant as he is.

    • hiddlesgirl85 says:

      That was your take away from this ENTIRE story???

      I have no issue with what she did–I am grateful that she let the entire world (including the people of color who work under him) know who he really is. I have a major PROBLEM with Sterling’s racism and the fact that he has ACTED upon his racist ideology (his former rental tenants who later sued him for his poor treatment of them).

      • Mich says:

        You took the words out of my mouth. Unbelievable.

      • Meredith says:

        I have a problem, legally speaking, with someone’s private conversation with their significant other being illegally recorded and then said “pillow talk” being used against him professionally to force a sale of his business/team. That sets a dangerous precedent that Mark Cuban suggested.

        “In no uncertain terms am I supporting what Donald Sterling said, or his position,” Cuban said. “He’s obviously racist, he’s obviously bigoted. And in this day and age when you’re in the public eye, you’ve got to be damn careful — if that’s your position, and that’s unfortunately where you’re at, you better be damn careful what you say, even in the privacy of your own home.

        “But regardless of your background, regardless of the history they have, if we’re taking something somebody said in their home and we’re trying to turn it into something that leads to you being forced to divest property in any way, shape or form, that’s not the United States of America. I don’t want to be part of that.”

      • hiddlesgirl85 says:

        @Meredith: Yes, I understand the point that both you and Mark Cuban were making. However, California in NOT a two-consent state in terms of audio recordings, so not a problem. Also, Mark Cuban’s point is missing the larger issue of the Donald Sterling story.

        Donald’s recordings became an issue, because of his documented HISTORY of racism and vile, racially-fueled actions against others. Further, he has been sued several times over these incidents. Overall, I believe that is the reason he was getting so much notoriety–that documented HISTORY of racist rhetoric and actions.

        Those around him were tired of him and his hateful activities and presence. Let there be no confusion, this man has been given SEVERAL passes by the league and those around him, but this was the final straw.

      • Kiddo says:

        @Meredith…”I have a problem, legally speaking, with someone’s private conversation with their significant other being illegally …”

        I’m gonna have to stop you right there. If by “significant other”, you mean the woman he was using, very much in the same way he used players: no love, but arranged for what benefited him through cash, then that’s twisted. Otherwise, the player who paid, didn’t broker a good enough deal with this woman, and got played. He used her, but she one-upped him. This wasn’t some love of his life, let’s get real. He thought he ‘owned’ her, but she ‘sold’ him out. The business arrangement wasn’t working for her apparently. I’m not saying I like her, but let’s not make this out as if there was some ‘significant’ attachment. He remained married to his wife.

        And if you feel that way about businesses being put out of business or taken away, are you also offended by hostile takeovers, where entire companies are gutted for the profit of a few? I’m curious, because in a sense, it’s the same thing but with sometimes no connection at all.

      • Kiddo says:

        @hiddlesgirl85…SWoosh….The sound of the lesson flying overhead.

  30. Cecilia says:

    I wonder, now that he is banned from the league…I bet they will force him to sell. Magic has already stated he would be interested in buying the team. This is beginning to look like a well orchestrated set-up. It would be curious if Magic ends up the new owner.

  31. Mabs says:

    I haven’t really commented much on this topic because it’s all disgusting. All of it. And the people using her setting him up as some kind of justifiable excuse is nothing but appallingly blind speculation. She’s her own problem as well, I do see that. But anyone stringing those words together with such effortless and comfortable ease is delusional and beyond reproach. Slap a toe tag on him…he’s done.

  32. Liz says:

    Mark Cuban is a self-serving douche. Sterling was NOT keeping his racist comments in the privacy of his home. The man has been sued several times for his illegal racist practices towards minorities. Someone in his administrative staff unsuccessfully sued Sterling for being a racist. It was about time someone smartened up and broadcast who he really is and how he really feels.

    Cuban is obviously worried about comments HE makes in the privacy of his home.

  33. LaurieH says:

    Here’s what bugs me about all this: Don Sterling’s racial animus has been publicly known for decades. All sorts of people are coming out the woodwork to say they always knew he was a racist and point to specific, documented evidence. Even the NAACP was aware of it, yet was slated to fete him with a lifetime achievement award. Rich people have a history of getting away with things because others are always willing to look the other way as long as some cash is being plopped down into their outstretched hand.

    What bugs me about the boycotts is that is really only hurts the players. I understand taking a principaled stand, but it isn’t going to hurt Don Sterling any more than the NBA’s puny $2.5 million fine will. The man is a BILLIONAIRE. He will survive and, at age 80, doesn’t have that far to go until the finish line. I worry about the players – the athletes that train and played so hard to get to the playoffs. This is about them. Not Don Sterling. I am glad the NBA decided to take action, but I can’t help but wonder why they kept looking the other way before. Privately telling your mistress you don’t want her bringing black people to the games is distasteful, ignorant and mean – but it’s not a crime (although her recording him is). What Sterling did before – denying housing to people based on race WAS a crime – a federal crime in which he was charged – but that was inexplicably ignored by the NBA and everyone else.

    I am glad Sterling is getting the boot – good riddance. But, in truth, it should have happened long ago.

    • Kiddo says:

      So you’re bugged that it happened now? Better late than never, right? I would disagree that this isn’t hurting him because of his abundance of money. People accumulate money to exercise control and show off. Clearly, ownership of the team and spending time at the game with arm candy was a vanity/ego power project. His ego just got kicked in the ass. Yes, they should have investigated and acted on prior issues, but the point here was that he was speaking disparagingly specifically about basketball players and goings on in and around the game.

      • LaurieH says:

        Okay – so? People speak disparaging about other people all the time. Does that mean we are entitled to attack then with pitchforks? The guy revealed himself as a grotesque racist – something many people already knew and chose the look the other way over. Of course this involves ego, but the man has owned the team for 33 yrs and is now 80. Not to be callous, but he’ll be dead soon. At this point, bruising the ego of a man whose mind is only going might make us feel better. Sure, he can be forced to sell his team….considering what he paid for it in 1981, we’ll only be “punishing” him by handing him a HUGE profit. I think his ego will survive.

  34. someone says:

    1. What the holy hell did Sterling and his wife do to their faces? That is some bad plastic surgery.

    2. Sterling’s wife would have been better off letting the $1.8 million go that she was trying to get back from the mistress and calling it good riddance. It was her lawsuit that brought this all out. Now Sterling will pay $2.5 million out of his (or should I say THEIR) pocket – more than the $1.8 million Mrs Sterling was suing for. They are all idiots.