Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson wants fans of both his team and the Los Angeles Clippers to boycott Game 5 at the Staples Center in response to the racist comments allegedly made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
“If it was me, I wouldn’t come to the game,” Jackson said Monday, according to ESPN.com. “I believe as fans, the loudest statement they could make as far as fans is to not show up to the game.”
Jackson made sure to point out that his advice applies to Warriors fans as well.
“As an African-American man that’s a fan of the game of basketball and knows its history and knows what’s right and what’s wrong, I would not come to the game tomorrow, whether I was a Clipper fan or a Warrior fan,” he said.
The comments allegedly made by Sterling were to his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, on an audio recording obtained and released by TMZ. The man making the comments urged Stiviano not to bring black friends to Clippers games.
“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.”
Jackson said there is a clear line between how fans and players should handle the situation.
“Should the Clippers boycott? They’re getting paid to play,” Jackson said. “They’ve got families and bills. This is their job. This is their livelihood. They dreamt their whole life for it. Same thing with us.
“But it’s different for me to pay to come see it.”
According to ticket resale aggregator TiqIQ, ticket prices for Tuesday’s Game 5 have actually increased since Sterling’s alleged comments surface publicly Saturday.
The average list price for Tuesday’s game on the resale market is $275.41, up 8.62 percent since Saturday morning, according to TiqIQ. The cheapest ticket on the resale market is $71, up 25.25 percent since Saturday.
Jackson said his team discussed how it should respond to Sterling’s comments and elected to play out the series.
“We talked about it,” Jackson said, “and the biggest statement would be playing and pouring our hearts out into something we dreamt about doing and doing it in a way where, no matter what color we are, we do this with class and dignity and integrity, and the evidence would clearly dictate that.”
Asked about how the league should address the issue, Jackson deferred to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who will address the matter during a news conference Tuesday in New York.
“I’ve got total confidence in the commissioner,” Jackson said. “It’s an unfortunate position that he’s in, but I’ve got total confidence in how he’s going to handle it.”
The coach made sure to convey that the issue is broader than just one team or its owner.
“The statements were not made toward, other than maybe a line or two, the Clippers,” Jackson said. “The statements made toward all of us — not just African-Americans — I mean, all of us should be insulted.”
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