Spike Lee: Sterling has 'mentality of a slave master'
Filmmaker says Sterling treats players like slaves in the wake of controversy over alleged racist comments.
Spike Lee has weighed in on the Donald Sterling fiasco. The noted racial-issues commentator and filmmaker appeared on CNN Monday to discuss the alleged racists comments from Clippers owner Donald Sterling, and said that Sterling's mentality reflects that of a slave owner.
“He’s got to go because he’s tainting all the other 29 partners, he’s tainting the league and he’s tainting America,” Lee told CNN Monday. “And when you hear something like that, that is a mentality of a slave master. He sees his players as slaves.”
Sterling has come under fire for audio recordings obtained by TMZ and Deadspin where he allegedly tells his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, that it bothers him that she associates herself with black people.
Lee said that during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles in 2011, Sterling told him that NBA players wouldn’t have jobs if they didn’t play basketball.
“We were at a restaurant and Donald Sterling called us over to his table … and he started to say, ‘Why are they going on strike? We should pay all the players $500,000. If they don’t play basketball, they won’t have a job,’” Lee recalled to CNN.
Lee said he also wishes white NBA players spoke out.
“Outside from Dirk Nowitzki, I really never heard from the white players,” Lee told CNN.
Considering the comments that were leaked in the Deadspin extended leak on Sunday, it's hard to argue with assessing the alleged Sterling mentality that way.
The NBA's investigation into the alleged racist comments from Sterling came after audio tapes were released last weekend to media outlets. The move comes in the wake of public outcry over those comments released first to TMZ and then Deadspin from a recorded conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend.
The outrage over the comments grew like wildfire after the recording was first leaked Friday. Players from all across the league, current and former, spoke out against it. Kevin Johnson met with Silver on Sunday to represent the players' union. Sponsors began pulling their support from the Clippers Monday morning. The Clippers players reportedly considered boycotting Game 4, and they staged a silent protest on Sunday before Game 4 vs. the Warriors by turning their warmups inside out.
Several NBA owners issued statements Monday condemning the comments.
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