Chumash Casino Pulls Sponsorship from Clippers Over Donald Sterling’s Racist Comments
The racist comments allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling are hurting his relationship with the Native American community. Vincent Armenta, tribal chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians said in a statement on Monday that its casino, the Chumash Casino Resort, is cutting sponsorship ties with the Clippers.
“We’ve always been proud supporters of the Los Angeles Clippers, however, the recent statements attributed to the Clippers’ owner have forced us to reconsider our relationship. We remain supportive of the members of the team and we wish them the very best going forward. As a group that has long been marginalized itself, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and the Chumash Casino Resort are especially sensitive to maintaining the dignity of all people. We cannot ignore any statement that causes harm or hurts any group. As a result, we’re withdrawing our sponsorship of the Clippers organization.”
The casino has been a presenting sponsor of the LA Clippers for the last four seasons.
TMZ broke the news on Friday by releasing a recorded conversation that Sterling had with his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, who is black and Mexican. In them, Sterling is heard saying, "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?" He also told her, “Don’t bring [Magic Johnson] to my games.”
The National Congress of American Indians, the oldest and largest organization representing Native and Indigenous people in the country said there is “no place in modern society for that kind of hatred and discrimination.
“NCAI condemns Donald Sterling’s appalling comments regarding African Americans,” the organization said in a statement. “There is no place in modern society for that kind of hatred and discrimination. We also want to applaud the many athletes, sportscasters, corporations, and individuals who have spoken out against Sterling and his comments. It is encouraging to see so many people standing together and declaring that this behavior is unacceptable.
“NCAI is no stranger to facing down racism and ignorance in American sports. Every incident of hate and racism – whether a singular incident or the repeated, high-profile use of offensive words and images – is unacceptable and has no place in the 21st Century.
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