Fans anticipate NBA's Donald Sterling announcement Tuesday

Many NBA players are wearing signs of protest against Clippers owner Donald Sterling, but many fans are conflicted about a boycott.
April 28, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
The NBA is planning to make an announcement about its investigation involving Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and the alleged racist remarks he is accused of making. The league will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

And now, corporate sponsors don't want to risk their reputations by being associated with someone who is being roundly condemned by everyone from the president on down.

Warrior's center Jermaine O'Neal applauded Clippers players for the protest they staged Sunday at Oracle Arena.

"It's a lot of African American people on the opposite teams as well. You know, it's not just the Clippers. The Clippers, you know, they're not the only ones having to deal with this," said O'Neal.

Monday, former San Francisco 49ers legends roger Craig and Joe Montana weighed in.

"We're in the millennium and we're still talking about racism," said Craig.

"I just think in today's day and age that, you know, we would be past that," said Montana.

The Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP announced today it's rescinded a lifetime achievement award it planned to give Sterling next month.

But the biggest blowback may be financial. At least a dozen companies are now ending or suspending their ties with the team, including Virgin America, Corona and Mercedes Benz.

"They need to tell people, right now, that that's not what they stand for; that they're as shocked and appalled as everyone else is. And they're withdrawing their support, I mean, that's essential right now," said consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow.

Some basketball fans expressed themselves at Oracle Arena Sunday and demonstrations are expected in Los Angeles when the Warriors and Clippers meet again on Tuesday.

ABC News legal expert Dan Abrams was asked about the options before the NBA regarding a punishment.

"The commissioner probably can't expel him based on the contract and the agreement they have in place. But, the NBA has pretty wide latitude. Expect a really stiff fine here. Expect a suspension that would be a first. And, the question becomes how significant a suspension? They could suspend him indefinitely which could do exactly what you were hearing the mayor talk about which I s the possibility of forcing him to effectively sell the team," he said.

The mayor Abrams referred to was Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is also working with the National Basketball Players Association.

Meanwhile R&B singer Tank has pulled out of singing the national anthem at Tuesday's game.

"As an African American man and artist, I must take a stand on a matter that is so deeply personal to me," he said.


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