As the NBA prepares to bring down some form of punishment on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling; the real pain for the NBA started on Monday as sponsors began pulling support for the Clippers’ organization.
Sterling has been at the center of a growing scandal after a tape was released to TMZ.com and Deadspin.com allegedly containing the Clippers owner making racially insensitive remarks.
Miami Heat star LeBron James made his feelings known over the weekend saying there's no place in the NBA for that kind of person or feelings.
According to NBCSports, State Farm Insurance will be “taking a pause” in its relationship with the Clippers. State Farm will continue its ad campaign with Clippers point guard Chris Paul.
In addition to State Farm, CarMax issued a statement Monday ending its sponsorship deal with the Clippers after Sterling’s comments. Virgin America also announced it was ending its sponsorship of the Clippers and KIA, a big NBA sponsor, said it would be suspending its sponsorship as well.
The NBA is set to announce a punishment for Sterling on Tuesday. It’s the first major scandal new commissioner Adam Silver has faced since taking over the league. Silver’s options aren’t clear on what kind of punishment he can deal out to Sterling.
According to NBCSports, the only reason the league can force an owner to sell a team is if he is not paying his league bills, which Sterling continues to do.
While the league mulls its suspension, Clippers players are considering what options they have in the form of a protest for Game 5 on Tuesday. In Game 4, the Clippers’ players turned their warm-up shirts inside out and threw down their warm-up jerseys at half-court.
The Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs are also reportedly mulling some way of protesting Sterling’s response during their next playoff game, according to ESPN.com.