President Barack Obama weighed in Sunday from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on remarks allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, calling them “racist” and “incredibly offensive.” Sterling was alleged to have told his girlfriend not to brink black people to basketball games, in audio released by gossip site TMZ.
Obama “interrupted his diplomatic initiative in Asia,” according to a report by Agence France-Presse, in order to address the controversy. The president’s visit has prioritized American commitment to security in a region that is seeing increased threats from North Korea and increasing assertiveness from an ascendant China.
The controversy over Sterling’s remarks caused outrage across the sporting world as the Clippers struggled to continue their playoff run. Obama is known for his enthusiasm for basketball, and commented on Sunday: “I don’t think I have to interpret those statements for you. They kind of speak for themselves.
The National Basketball Association’s new commissioner, Adam Silver, has promised a speedy yet fair investigation of the allegations.