Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's troubles over racist comments attributed to him during the weekend got even worse Sunday night when his estranged wife, Shelly, distanced her family from his comments and dismissed them as "despicable."
"Our family is devastated by the racist comments made by my estranged husband. My children and I do not share these despicable views or prejudices," said Mrs. Sterling in a TMZ report.
"We will not let one man's small-mindedness poison the spirit of the fans and accomplishments of the team in the city we love," she continued. "We are doing everything in our power to stand by and support our Clippers team."
Sterling incurred the wrath of his players and NBA and basketball fans after TMZ revealed audio Friday of the Clippers owner making comments about black and Hispanic people. The NBA has labelled his comments as "disturbing and offensive."
Excerpts from the 15-minute recording from Sterling's comments are below.
-- "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?" (3:30)
-- "You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games." (5:15)
-- "I'm just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don't have to have yourself with, walking with black people." (7:45)
-- "...Don't put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games." (9:13)
New NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Sterling would be "afforded due process" in an investigation before taking any action against the embattled billionaire owner.
"We will move extraordinarily quickly. We plan to have this wrapped up in the next few days," Silver said on Saturday.
Sterling, who was slated to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP at a May 15 banquet has also had that honor rescinded, according to the organization's Twitter page.
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Clippers players protested silently before their playoff game by wearing their warm-up shirts inside out. Their coach Doc Rivers also said he isn't sure what Sterling could say to make him want to return next season.
"Don't know yet," said Rivers after he was asked what he would need to hear from Sterling. "I'm just going to leave it at that."