An audio recording purportedly of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist remarks to his girlfriend is being investigated by the National Basketball Association.
In the recording, the man believed to be Sterling questions his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, about her association with minorities. TMZ reports that Stiviano, who is black and Mexican, posted a picture of her with Magic Johnson on Instagram, a photo that has since been removed.
"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?" the man believed to be Sterling says. He continues, "You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games."
NBA spokesman Mike Bass issued the following statement to ESPN: "We are in the process of conducting a full investigation into the audio recording obtained by TMZ. The remarks heard on the recording are disturbing and offensive, but at this time we have no further information."
The Los Angeles Daily News reports that Clipper players held a team meeting regarding the audio, according to a source. The Clippers have not commented yet.
Players around the league began reacting as news of the investigation spread.
One player on a Western Conference playoff team, preferring to remain anonymous until more details about the validity of the recording surface, told ESPN he and his teammates were "pissed" when they first got wind of the story.
"We're waiting to see what is said [by the league] or how it's handled," said the player. "If roles were reversed, you know people wouldn't let it ride."
Former Clipper Baron Davis took to Twitter to express his thoughts about Sterling.
That's the way it is...He is honest about what he believes in..Been going on for a long time, Hats off 2 the Team.. 4 playin above it all.- Baron Davis (@Baron_Davis) April 26, 2014
Last month, CBS reported that Rochelle Sterling, Sterling's wife, filed a lawsuit against Stiviano, alleging she had a sexual affair with her husband. The suit, which states Sterling and Stiviano began their relationship after meeting at the Super Bowl in 2010, asks for a return of all cash, land cars and other items that under California law are the community property of the Sterlings.
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Arash Markazi and Dave McMenamin was used in this report.