The fallout from racist comments alleged to have come from Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling continue to wreak havoc on the pro basketball franchise.
Sponsors are pulling their support from the team in rapid succession after an audio recording that's purported to be Sterling surfaced, reports USA Today. In the recording, the 80-year-old owner can be heard saying he doesn't want his girlfriend, who is part Mexican and part African-American, to bring African-Americans to his games or post pictures of herself with African-Americans on social media. The comments were sparked by a photo she had posted of herself and former NBA player Magic Johnson on Instragram.
CarMax, State Farm Insurance, Kia Motors, Virgin America, P. Diddy's water brand AQUAHydrate, Red Bull, Yokohama tires, and Mercedes-Benz all halted sponsorship. State Farm and Kia will continue to work with Clippers stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, respectively.
In a statement, AQUAHydrate said: "In the wake of Donald Sterling's alleged defamatory and intolerable comments, we have decided to suspend our sponsorship with the L.A. Clippers until the NBA completes its investigation. We fully support the players and fans of the L.A. Clippers and wish them the best in the remainder of the playoffs."
Fans have also rallied against Sterling, yet continue to show support for the team and its players. A social media campaign, started on Twitter with the handle @ClippersBlkOut, has begun urging fans attending Tuesday night's playoff game between the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors to wear black from head to toe.
Check out Clippers coach Doc Rivers responding to Sterling's comments here.