*Civil rights activists and supporters plan to protest this afternoon outside Staples Center to demand the NBA suspend Clippers owner Donald Sterling after he allegedly made racist remarks on a recording, reports the Los Angeles Times.
“We’re going to hold a public display of our displeasure and send a loud and clear message that we won’t tolerate racism regardless of who it comes from in our city,” said civil rights activist Najee Ali.
Ali said hundreds are expected to the gather around 5:30 p.m. at the corner of 12th and Figueroa streets before Tuesday’s playoff game between the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors. Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network has also said it would protest Tuesday.
Activists initially planned to call on fans to boycott the team, but have since decided they want Sterling to be banned from the National Basketball Assn.
“We want fans to support the team, especially at a critical time like this,” Ali said. “Those guys, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, they’ve done nothing to deserve this.”
“We’re not going to punish them, they have our support,” he added.
Two websites – TMZ and Deadspin – posted a recording over the weekend that they identify as a conversation between Sterling and a woman named V. Stiviano. A person the websites identified as Sterling can be heard criticizing her for associating with black people — even though Sterling’s team and the league it plays in are 80% African American.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver is scheduled to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. EST.
Below, Rev. Sharpton talks Donald Sterling on Sunday’s “Meet the Press”: