(CBS) — Several sponsors of the Los Angeles Clippers announced Monday that they will end their relationship with the team after owner Donald Sterling’s alleged racist comments.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports in big time sports, teams make money from ticket sales media and sponsors, so the NBA knows Donald Sterling has given it more than a public relations headache when blue chip companies — including KIA, CarMax and Illinois-based State Farm — announce they’re pulling away from the LA Clippers.
The pressure is on anyone connected to the team, including the players.
John Marquez, professor of African American and Latino Studies at Northwestern, was not impressed by their silent protest yesterday when they concealed the team’s name.
“I have to look at that and say that is a weak sign of protest,” said Marquez.
Marquez said a more effective protest would be to not play the game.
“If you’re trying to make a statement, make a statement.”
Once again, President Obama was pulled into a discussion on race when a reporter asked him about Sterling over the weekend. His senior advisor Valerie Jarrett was in Chicago Monday.
“Do they ask him ore issues that have to do with race because he’s the first African-American president? Maybe. If you looked on Twitter, if you looked on social media it got a lot of attention because it’s outrageous and a lot of people spoke out not just the president,” said Jarrett.
On the Clippers website, KIA is still featured, along with Mercedes which is deciding whether to continue to sponsor the team.
McDonald’s is also pulling all of its advertisements from the team until the investigation is complete.
The NBA said it will hold a news conference on the Sterling matter Tuesday afternoon in New York, hours before the Clippers next playoff game against Golden State in Los Angeles.