R&B singer Tank who was scheduled to sing the National Anthem at Tuesday’s Clippers’ playoff game has joined the boycott against Donald Sterling.
“As an African-American man and artist, I must take a stand on a matter that is so deeply personal to me,” Tank said in a statement. “In light of the recent disturbing and offensive allegations, in good conscience, I cannot move forward with my scheduled appearance at Tuesday’s Los Angeles Clippers game.”
NBA commissioner Adam Stern said at a press conference late Saturday (April 26) that Sterling would be afforded “due process” as the inquiry goes forward, but the public backlash has already set in.
Sterling has been accused of racism before. In 2009, he paid $2.75 million to settle a federal housing discrimination lawsuit involving his refusal to rent to black tenants. During the trial, Sterling was accused of saying things like black people “smell … they’re not clean” and Mexicans “must sit around and smoke and drink all day.” The same year that the suit was settled, former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Sterling, accusing him of having a “plantation mentality.” According to the suit, “Sterling said, ‘Personally, I would like to have a white Southern coach coaching poor black players,” in addition to other racially insensitive comments.