Doc Rivers, head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, released the following statement in response to the racist statements “attributed” to Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
“I would like to reiterate how disappointed I am in the comments attributed to [Donald Sterling] and I can’t even begin to tell you how upset I am and our players are. Today, I had a meeting with the members of our organization. When you are around all these people, you realize they are just as upset and embarrassed by the situation and it does not reflect who they really are. That was what I got from all of them. They are now a part of this and they are upset at this. But, they are all going to hang in there and so are we – I can tell you that as a group and as a team. From our fans’ standpoint, I want to say that they have been amazing, I can tell you that. We need unbelievable support right now from other people and I’m hoping we get that. My hope is that whatever the fans do, it is as one. I think that is what we all should do.
“We want to make the right decisions here. We’re doing our very best to try and do that. We know that fans are in a dilemma as well. We want them to cheer for their players and their team. It will always be their players and their team. From the fans that I have heard from, that’s how they feel. ‘This is my team. These are my players that I’m cheering for and that’s not going to change.’ I hope STAPLES Center is packed and people are cheering for the players. The players are now in the middle of this, and they have to deal with it.
“We are all trying to figure out everything as it goes and just do our best and we hope that it is the right answer. I’m still going to do my best and do what I think is best for the team and for everybody in this case. It is very difficult because there are so many emotions in this. This is a very emotional subject, this is personal.
“My belief is that the longer we keep winning, the more we talk about this. I believe that is good. If we want to make a statement – I believe that is how we have to do it. I think that is the right way to do it, but that doesn’t mean we still don’t wrestle with it every day and every moment. That is the difficult part.
“We are all doing our best here. Our players are doing their best. There are a lot of people involved in this. From one man’s comments, a lot of people have been affected and the conversations that we’re all having do need to be had.”
As previously reported by NewsOne, when Los Angeles Clippers players took to the court for Sunday’s game against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the first round of the NBA play-offs, they did so in silent protest against the racist remarks of Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
The players threw down their Clippers jackets at half-court, then warmed up with their shooting shirts inside out.
They also wore black arm bands and socks in protest.
Though Sterling was not present, his wife Shelly sat across from the bench, also wearing black, reports Yahoo Sports.
L.A. Clippers Protest Racist Owner Donald Sterling
Coach Doc Rivers, who was asked about the protest during a post-game conference, said that he knew about it and that he didn’t approve. Rivers added that he wouldn’t try to stop them from doing what they felt they needed to do.
“[I] wasn’t thrilled about it but if that’s what they want to do, that’s what they want to do,” Rivers said.