SACRAMENTO (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown says he supports the NBA’s decision to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life over racist comments caught on tape, calling the language “a horror.”
In an interview recorded Tuesday, Brown told CNN that the action against Sterling needed to be strong to send a message against racism.
“When words of that kind are uttered, given the history in America with relation to African Americans, it’s a horror. The action has to be strong because we have to extirpate any vestige of the kind of prejudice that has too long plagued this country,” Brown told interviewer Christiane Amanpour.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the punishment Tuesday, several days after a recording of racist statements by the real-estate mogul was made public. Silver also said he will try to force a sale of the Clippers and fined Sterling $2.5 million.
Brown was asked about the disparity between black athletes who make up the majority of NBA players and the predominantly white ownership of NBA teams. He called it an anomaly in which the black players “are giving their all on the court” while white owners reap the financial rewards — only to then subject the players to racist sentiments.
“It’s unthinkable, and whatever remedies can be taken under the law have to be pursued,” Brown said in the interview, which was posted online.
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