The Los Angeles Clippers have found themselves at the top of every media headline over the past few days, but their surge in popularity has nothing to do with the NBA’s current play-off season. Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers, was apparently outraged when he learned that his Latina/Black girlfriend was taking photos with Black people and posting them on her Instagram page.
In a nine-minute-plus audio that surfaced, Sterling claims he had no idea his girlfriend was bi-racial—and he says he certainly didn’t know she was Black. He requested that she “respect” him by not inviting Black people to any Clippers’ games, and that includes legendary NBA Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson. As the majority of the players employed by the basketball conglomerate, all members of the team took part in a silent protest covering up their jerseys with warm-up T-shirts turned inside out, hiding the Clippers’ logo—and now players across the professional association as well as entertainers are taking a stand against Sterling’s blatantly racist commentary.
R&B singer Tank was slated to perform during tonight’s Clippers’ game, but has now declined to participate in the festivities and leave the National Anthem to someone else.
“As an African-American man and artist, I must take a stand on this matter that is so deeply personal to me,” Tank made in a statement to EBONY.com. “In light of the recent disturbing and offensive allegations, I cannot move forward with my scheduled appearance at tomorrow’s Los Angeles Clippers Game.”
Deeply offended by Sterling’s comments, Tank continued to share his upset. “This is a very serious issue, and my decision was not made lightly. Although I appreciate the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at the game, I cannot associate my brand with an owner or event where African Americans and other minorities are not welcome. I have confidence the NBA will take action and resolve the situation, and at which time I look forward to watching a sport and a team I so deeply love.”