Elgin Baylor, the NBA Hall of Famer and one-time general manager for the Los Angeles Clippers, has yet to weigh in on the growing controversy surrounding his former boss, Clippers owner Donald Sterling, and the racist audio recording
that has been attributed to him.
In 2009, the now 79-year-old Baylor filed a lawsuit against Sterling for wrongful termination and discrimination on the basis of age and race, claiming his former boss had a "vision of a Southern plantation-type structure" for the Clippers.
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On Saturday, a 9-minute recording that allegedly captured billionaire Sterling telling his former girlfriend V. Stiviano to stop bringing her black friends to games and stop being pictured in public with African-Americans was released by TMZ
Stiviano herself is half black and half Hispanic.
In Baylor's 2009 lawsuit against Sterling, the former NBA great who spent 22 years as the Clippers general manager before departing in 2008, accused his former boss of having set out to create a Clippers team that was "composed of 'poor black boys from the South' and a white head coach."
Baylor also alleged in the suit that during contract negotiations with former NBA player Danny Manning, Sterling had told Manning's agent, "I’m offering you a lot of money for a poor black kid."
In 2011, a jury ruled in favor of Sterling.
Sterling's alleged racist remarks have sparked a firestorm in the NBA and beyond, with the team's players holding a protest prior to the game in which they practiced with their workout uniforms turned inside out so not to show the Clippers team name. The Los Angeles team went on to lose to the Golden State Warriors.
Basketball Legends Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson have weighed in on the controversy.
"There is no room in the NBA — or anywhere else — for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed," Jordan said on Sunday
. "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."
"I will never go to a Clippers game again as long as Donald Sterling is the owner," Johnson wrote on Twitter. "LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling's comments about African Americans are a black eye for the NBA."
Even President Barack Obama weighed in when asked about the incident during his trip to Malaysia over the weekend.
Describing the comments as "incredibly offensive racist statements," Obama said, "When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance you don't really have to do anything, you just let them talk."
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