State Farm, CarMax Drop Clippers Sponsorship

Monday, 28 Apr 2014 01:11 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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State Farm and CarMax pulled their sponsorship of the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday after an audiotape was released containing racist remarks allegedly made by the professional basketball team’s billionaire owner, Donald Sterling.

Steve Stoute, the CEO of the marketing firm Transition, which represents State Farm, announced on ESPN’s "The Herd" radio show hosted by Colin Cowherd that the insurance company would not sponsor the teams as long as Sterling is the owner, according to Mediaite.

"What I'm going to do and what I think is important from my side is I'm telling the brands immediately, 'Let's pull sponsorship,' starting with State Farm," Stoute said. “When you have things like this taking place, somebody has to stand up."

CarMax has also dropped its sponsorship, according to an email that the used car chain sent to The Huffington Post.

"CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers' owner completely unacceptable," a spokeswoman said in the email. "These views directly conflict with CarMax's culture of respect for all individuals.

"While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for nine years and support the team, fans, and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship."

In the 10-minute audiotape obtained by TMZ, Sterling allegedly told his girlfriend, a model who goes by the name V. Stiviano, that she should not post photographs online of herself with black people and not to bring African Americans to Clippers games.

The National Basketball Association is investigating the tape while Donald Trump says the league will likely have to expel Sterling over his alleged racist remarks.

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