Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling attended services at a largely black church in South Los Angeles on Sunday.
Sterling went to Praises of Zion Missionary Baptist Church and commented that the service was “beautiful.” KNBC-TV reported that Pastor J. Benjamin Hardwick had met Sterling recently and asked him to worship at his church. Some of the congregants apparently greeted Sterling kindly, while others showed irritation. One family walked out, while the rest of the 30 attendees stayed.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million and barred him from the NBA after TMZ revealed Sterling’s private racist comments. “That’s one problem I have,” Sterling told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people. And some of the African-Americans, maybe I’ll get in trouble again, they don’t want to help anybody.” Sterling’s wife sold the team last week to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer after the NBA initiated proceedings to force an ownership change.
Sterling brought bodyguards, and sat through the entire 2-hour service.