Virgin America became the latest prominent company to end its sponsorship of the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday after an audio recording surfaced on Saturday of Clippers owner Donald Sterling purportedly telling his girlfriend not to bring black people to his games.
“While we continue to support the fans and the players, Virgin America has made the decision to end its sponsorship of the L.A. Clippers,” a company spokesman told Breitbart California.
Virgin America joins companies like State Farm and CarMax in pulling its sponsorship from the Clippers. Kia also announced that it was suspending its sponsorship with the Clippers.
Clippers superstar Blake Griffin is a prominent Kia endorser while Chris Paul has been featured in the hit State Farm commercials with his “twin” Cliff Paul.
The NBA, which is investigating the remarks and the authenticity of the recording, has scheduled a press conference for Tuesday on the matter. The Clippers, who will play the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series on Tuesday, canceled practice on Monday. On Sunday, the Clippers staged a silent protest by wearing their warm-up t-shirts inside out, dumping their warm-up gear at midcourt, and donning black socks and wristbands in Oakland. They lost Game 4 to the Warriors by 21 points at Oracle Arena.
The Los Angeles branch of the NAACP on Monday also officially rescinded the “lifetime achievement” award the organization was slated to award Sterling next Month and said it would return all donations made by Sterling.