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NBA probing alleged recording of Clippers owner (w/video)

  • In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, right, and V. Stiviano, left, watch the Clippers play the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. The NBA is investigating a report of an audio recording in which a man purported to be Sterling makes racist remarks while speaking to Stiviano. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement Saturday, April 26, 2014, that the league is in the process of authenticating the validity of the recording posted on TMZ's website. Bass called the comments "disturbing and offensive." (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

President Barack Obama, asked to respond at a news conference with Malaysia's prime minister during Obama's visit to the country Sunday, called the reported remarks "incredibly offensive racist statements."

"I don't think I have to interpret those statements for you, they kind of speak for themselves," Obama said. "When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don't really have to do anything. You just let them talk. And that's what happened here."

Obama also expressed confidence the NBA would address the situation, and said the United States still wrestles with "the legacy of race and slavery and segregation."

"Obviously, the NBA is a league that is beloved by fans all across the country," Obama said. "It's got an awful lot of African-American players. It's steeped in African-American culture. And, I suspect that the NBA is going to be deeply concerned in resolving this."

Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, a target of Sterling's remarks, said he wouldn't attend Clippers games as long as Sterling was the owner. Miami Heat star LeBron James asked new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to take aggressive measures, saying "there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league."


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