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Sports world sees new low after racism rears its ugly head

Last updated on: April 29, 2014 12:30 IST

Obama asks NBA commissioner to probe LA Clippers' owner over racist remarks

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The sporting world once again witnessed two racist episodes -- the Dani Alves banana incident and NBA's Sterling's comments against black people -- in two different continents on the same day. Here is the fall out of it all...

US President Barack Obama has said that he suspects that NBA would be deeply concerned in resolving Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's alleged racist remarks, as the United States continue to wrestle with a legacy of race, slavery and segregation.

Obama said that he is confident that the NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who is a good man, will address the matter regarding Sterling's alleged racist remarks, as the Clippers owner has been caught on a 9-minute recording telling his girlfriend not to bring black people to his NBA games including former hoops star Magic Johnson.

The US President said that NBA is a league that is beloved by basketball fans all across the country and it has got an awful lot of African-American players and is steeped in African-American culture, Deadline.com reported.

Meanwhile the Clippers reportedly staged a silent protest against the alleged racist comments made by the Sterling before Game 4 of their play-offs run on Sunday. 


Image: US President Barack Obama


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Jordan disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such ''sickening'' views

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The Clippers protested by wearing their red warm-up shirts inside out to hide the team logo ahead of their 118-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Also, retired superstar Magic Johnson has called for Silver to do his ''due diligence'' and come down hard on Sterling, who should not own a team anymore.

Former NBA superstar and current Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan said that as an owner, he is obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such ''sickening'' and ''offensive'' views, adding that he is confident that Silver would make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.

The NBA has promised to launch an investigation into the matter after Sterling had been identified on that controversial and racist 9-minute recording posted by TMZ.


Image: Michael Jordan
Photographs: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

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Barcelona players and officials back Alves after banana incident

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Barcelona and a host of fellow players have backed Daniel Alves after he produced a clever riposte to a racist taunt involving a banana when taking a corner kick during Sunday's 3-2 La Liga win at Villarreal.

Alves, who has previously taken a stand against racism at matches in Spain, grabbed the banana thrown in front of him onto the pitch, quickly peeled it and took a bite before tossing away the skin and completing the kick.

(Here is a video grab of the incident, posted on Alves’s Instagram page).

"We are all monkeys, we are all the same, say no to racism," Alves's Barca and Brazil teammate Neymar wrote on his Twitter feed with a picture of him holding a peeled banana, one of a number of high-profile players who expressed their support.

Barca earlier pledged their "complete support and solidarity" with Alves and referred to "insults he was subject to from a section of the crowd".


Image: Neymar and Dani Alves
Photographs: Albert Gea/Reuters

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'Barcelona accepts that the perpetrators of these insults are in no way connected to Villarreal'

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They also thanked Villarreal for immediately condemning those responsible.

"Barcelona accepts that the perpetrators of these insults are in no way connected to Villarreal and we value very positively the support the club offered to our player," Barca said.

"The club’s immediate condemnation of the incidents is a step in the right direction to firstly isolate and then eradicate completely from the sporting arena this kind of behaviour."

European soccer has long been blighted by racist incidents by fans and their leagues criticised for not doing enough to stamp them out.

UEFA has been running a high-profile campaign to try to counter racist behaviour and promote respect.

Alves complained of abuse last year after being taunted by monkey chants from sections of the crowd during a King's Cup semi-final at Real Madrid and labelled Spain's efforts to tackle the problem a "lost war".

Angel Maria Villar, president of the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) and a UEFA and FIFA vice president, made a brief comment on the incident on Monday, saying "Spanish football is against racism and xenophobia".

The federation's competition committee would be looking into it, he added. 


Image: Barcelona's Dani Alves and Villarreal's Giovani Dos Santos vie for possession during their La Liga match at the Madrigal stadium in Villarreal on Sunday
Photographs: Heino Kalis/Reuters

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