Marge Schott's Cincinnati Racist Rants Foreshadow Donald Sterling

Image: Marge Schott's Cincinnati Racist Rants Foreshadow Donald Sterling Marge Schott, left and Donald Sterling.

Tuesday, 29 Apr 2014 10:35 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Marge Schott's name resurfaced this week as media outlets drew comparisons between the former Cincinnati Reds executive and Donald Sterling, the Los Angeles Clippers owner whose alleged racist rant went viral on Monday.

Sterling, 80, found himself at the center of a firestorm after two websites published audio recordings that allegedly feature the Clippers owner bashing his girlfriend for posting a photo of herself with former Lakers star Magic Johnson on Instagram.

"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people,"
a voice reportedly identified as Sterling says to her. "I'm just saying, in your . . . Instagrams, you don't have to have yourself with, walking with black people."

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Critics immediately jumped on the racist comments, pointing out that, not only is Sterling's team and the NBA in general 80 percent African American, but that his girlfriend herself is mixed race.

Clippers president Andy Roeser later issued a statement questioning the authenticity of the recordings.

"Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs, or feelings," the statement reads. "It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life. He feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them."

The debacle evokes memories of Marge Schott, the Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball team owner who also found herself in hot water after a string of racist comments.

Schott, who served as the Reds' owner from 1984 to 1999, was suspended multiple times over the years for publicly praising Adolf Hitler and for using racial slurs against blacks, Japanese people, and Jews, according to the Chicago Tribune.

She died in 2004 at age 75.

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