*The L.A. Clippers have lost their first sponsors in the wake of owner Donald Sterling’s racist coments.
CarMax has announced it will end its nine-year relationship with the team, according to TMZ Sports. Also, KXTV (ABC) News10 says that State Farm has pulled its sponsorship from the team.
A rep for CarMax — the largest used car retailer — tells TMZ, “CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers’ owner completely unacceptable.”
“These views directly conflict with CarMax’s culture of respect for all individuals. While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for nine years and support the team, fans and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship.”
Transition CEO Steve Stoute, who represents State Farm, announced on ESPN’s Cowherd radio show that State Farm would not sponsor the Clippers as long as Sterling was owner. Stoute said sponsorship of individual players might continue (meaning Cliff Paul may yet live), but not of the organization itself.
“I’m telling the brands, ‘Let’s pull sponsorship,’ starting with State Farm,” Stoute said. “When you have things like this taking place, somebody has to stand up.”
Stoute added that he expected more companies to pull their sponsorship in the next forty-eight hours.