NBA players threatened to boycott games in 2014 due to racism in the league

Magic Bucks Basketball
Posted at 4:14 PM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 19:16:25-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Wednesday’s boycott by the Milwaukee Bucks of the team’s own NBA playoff game follows through on players’ promise to use their platform to demand change and social justice.

Six years ago, players pressed league brass to take action against racism ignited by vulgar bigoted comments made by then-NBA team owner Donald Sterling.

In 2014, the Los Angeles Clippers players were planning to walk off the floor during Game 5 of the Western Conference playoffs versus the Golden State Warriors. Players on both sides said they were frustrated over the league's soft punishment on Sterling and demanded the owner be banned.

With pressure mounting for swift action, Adam Silver, the league's newly appointed commissioner, banned Sterling for life just three days after the scandal broke averting the boycott.

Coincidentally, the Milwaukee Bucks staged Wednesday's boycott during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

In a 10-minute audio clip posted by TMZ, Sterling chastised then-girlfriend V.Stiviano for posting pictures online of herself with African-Americans, including basketball Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

Sterling made the comments during an argument with Stiviano, who is part African-American.

"In your lousy f***ing Instagrams, you don't have to have yourself with -- walking with black people," he said in the audio clip.

"If it's white people, it's OK?" asked Stiviano, according to the recording. "If it was Larry Bird, would it make a difference?"

In May 2014, Sterling told CNN he was sorry for what he said but felt he was "baited."

"When I listen to that tape, I don't even know how I can say words like that. ... I don't know why the girl had me say those things," he said.