Clippers Player J.J. Redick: Donald Sterling May Have Discriminated Against Me Because I'm White
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling may have also discriminated against J.J. Redick, who is white.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life from the NBA after an audio recording surfaced in which Sterling tells V. Stiviano, who claimed to be his "silly rabbit" and not his "whore," to not bring "black people" to his games. NBA players may reportedly boycott games next year if Sterling still owns the team. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said he spoke to Sterling and believes Sterling will not give up the team easily, and the mayor did not rule out calling for fans to boycott should Sterling still own the team at the start of next season.
But Sterling may have also been prejudiced against white players that he felt were not worthy of long-term extensions. Clippers coach Doc Rivers reportedly had to convince ownership that Redick was worth the contract and a piece he needed for his team after Rivers was given control over basketball operations when the franchise that had until recently been perennially moribund hired him.
As USA Today reported, "at 29 years old and having made the calculated choice as a free agent last summer to come play for coach Doc Rivers and this talented team, Redick was exposed to the Sterling dysfunction from the start when his sign-and-trade deal to come to Los Angeles nearly fell apart after his four-year, $27-million deal had been agreed upon":
One of the alleged reasons? Sterling, the man whose racist comments sparked this whole furor, was believed to have had concerns about paying a white player that kind of money. He had once given white center Chris Kaman a five-year, $52 million deal, and how that contract panned out (or didn't, as Kaman played 195 games in the next four years of that deal and was traded to New Orleans with a year and a half left) appeared to be coloring Sterling's judgment on this deal. In a way, it was a mirror-image of the issue that would be front and center 10 months later.
"I've been told both ways: one, that he didn't want to pay me because I was white, and that he didn't want to pay me because I was a bench player," Redick said. "I didn't know (the deal almost fell apart) until after the fact. I just got a weird phone call from Doc on July 4, and I got off the phone and said to my wife, 'Something's going on.' He's like, 'You better play for me (expletive).' And I was like, 'Yeah, that's the plan. We figured this out two days ago, right?'
"And then he just rambled a bit. ... but he never really got into the nuts and bolts of what was happening. And then I got a call about 48 hours later from my agent, and he said, 'We wanted to keep you out of it, but here's what happened.'"
Redick has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons after he went to the Clippers. As Life News reported, Redick's ex-girlfriend has alleged that Redick harassed her and used racial slurs after pressuring her to abort their unborn child with an abortion contract.