2. Updated, April 27, 5:22 p.m. ET
Former basketball star and now-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats Michael Jordan has called the alleged comments from Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling “sickening and offensive” in a new statement.
“As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views,” Jordan said.
Jordan added, “As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA – or anywhere else – for the kind of racism. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport.”
Although he originally declined to comment, the NBA legend has joined players like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant to condemn the 81-year-old businessman, who has been accused of being the voice behind a racist diatribe in a recording originally leaked to TMZ.
“There’s no room for Donald Sterling in the NBA — there is no room for him,” Heat forward James said yesterday, adding that he might sit out if he was a Clippers player.
“I have kind of wavered back and forth if I would actually sit out,” James said. “If our owner would come out and say the things he 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.”
President Obama also called the comments “incredibly offensive” while speaking to reporters during a diplomatic trip to Malaysia.
“When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything,” he said. You just let them talk. That’s what happened here.”
Obama added that Sterling’s comments are an example of how “the United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation.”
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban took a different approach, angering people when he tweeted that people should focus on the playoffs and not worry about Sterling.
“Its playoff time, no reason to talk about anything in the NBA that does not relate to our Mavs. Lets Go Mavs !!” he said.
Read Jordan’s full statement:
“I look at this from two perspectives — as a current owner and as a former player. As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.
As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA — or anywhere else — for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level. “