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Texas Players, Coaches, and Natives Speak out on Los Angeles Clippers Owner's Alleged Racism

by: Joseph Vogas

Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 04:01 PM CDT

Deandre Jordan, a native of Houston and alumni of Texas A&M, plays for the Clippers
The NBA is reeling from an audio tape leaked to TMZ over the weekend where a man, accused to be Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, makes several racist statements saying he does not want his mixed race girlfriend to be seen with black people nor does he want black individuals to attend his basketball games.

The NBA is a league overwhelmingly made up of African American players. According to Five Thirty Eight 76% of the players in the NBA are black. For the Los Angeles Clippers, JJ Reddick and Hedo Turkoglu, who is Turkish, are the only non-black players on the team. Blake Griffin, one of the franchise's two current All Stars, is half-black on his father's side. Coach Doc Rivers said it best on Saturday,

"JJ Redick was just pissed as Chris Paul and that's the way it should be."

Anchoring the Clippers this season has been Deandre Jordan at center. Jordan, a native of Houston, Texas and alumni of Texas A&M, led the league this season in field goals made and rebounds per game. While most of the Clippers players have kept their personal opinions quiet as they sort our what is best for themselves and their careers, Jordan made his opinion known when he posted publicly to his Instagram account.

See what Deandre Jordan posted in response to the racist statements as well as what other Texas players and coaches through the league, including Dirk Nowitzki, Greg Popovich, and the Houston Rockets as a team, are saying after the jump.

Jordan posted the following image on his Instagram as a sign of protest against his team's owner:

On TNT's "Inside the NBA," former Rockets point guard Kenny "The Jet" Smith said:

"Racism is like a refuge for ignorance. I think there are two things we can take from it and the first is that he is taking his [Sterling] primitive thought process and saying that 'Hey, I can work with you, or you can work for me, but I can't be associated with you...I think it is more for me a teaching tool for a new generation of players. I call it new-educated wealth African Americans. It is 'How do you deal with people like this who still have this Jim Crow thought process?' He has to be suspended."

The entire reaction from Smith, Charles Barkley, and Shaquile O'Neil from "Inside" can be viewed here.

In game 4 of the matchup between the Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers, University of Texas alumni LaMarcus Aldridge spearheaded the idea of all players playing in black socks as a sign of solidarity for their friends in Los Angeles. When Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets heard of Aldridge's plan, they immediately climbed on board and joined.

Meanwhile, as the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks prepare for their game 4, both teams are trying to figure out what to do to show their support for the Clippers players in their protest against Sterling.

Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks starting power forward, said:

"I'm not sure if a guy like that is allowed to own a team in 2014. But there's a lot of research the league's got to do - if the tape's real and all that stuff. There's not really a lot more I can say on that. That was disappointing hearing that stuff."

Mavericks starting small forward Shawn Marion said:

"It's sad to see things like that to come out. Everybody has a right to their own opinion, with how you feel, but at the same time I think some of this stuff needs to be kept to yourself. We've got to respond to it and handle it the best way we can handle it."

The Mavericks are discussing wearing black socks tonight, but may do something else to show their support as the team currently does not own any.

Meanwhile, San Antonio head coach Greg Popovich lit into the whole controversy by saying:

"I don't know to what degree something like that is going to be orchestrated or done, but you can believe that all of us feel what everybody else is feeling. The degree to which you show that is a good question. But we all feel the same way. It's not just inappropriate, it's disgusting. It's something that has to be handled. We have full faith that the NBA will react appropriately."

Spurs starting point guard Tony Parker added his voice:

I was kind of surprised (at the comments). Obviously, like everybody said, we can't accept that. We'll see what Adam Silver does.

Commissioner Adam Silver has scheduled a press conference on Tuesday to discuss what the League's investigation into the audio tape has found.  

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