Heat show solidarity with Clippers by staging silent protest against Donald Sterling
In a show of solidarity with their fellow players, the Heat staged a silent protest against Clippers owner Donald Sterling before Game 4 of a first-round playoff series against the Bobcats at the Time Warner Cable Arena on Monday. Sterling was allegedly caught on tape making a series of racist remarks about African-Americans.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and company removed their warm-up jackets and placed them at midcourt before the game, revealing t-shirts that were turned inside out to hide the team logos. The Heat also wore black socks and headbands during the game.
The Clippers staged a similar silent protest during their Game 4 loss to the Warriors in Oakland on Sunday. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the rest of the team decided that they would take the court in the wake of racist comments allegedly made on an audio tape by Sterling, but they did wearing jerseys that said "Los Angeles" rather than "Clippers" across the chest and black socks.
Heat owner Micky Arison and James have both been very outspoken about Sterling's comments since they came to light on Friday.
The Miami Herald reported that Heat owner Micky Arison called Sterling's comments "offensive, appalling and very sad."
"There is no room for Donald Sterling in our league," James said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "[Silver] must do something fast before this gets out of hand.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters before Monday's game that his team would "likely" show support for the Clippers.
“This is obviously a very difficult and sensitive time for all of us, and the toughest thing is your heart goes out to the players and staff and the organization that is still dealing with this in L.A.,” Spoelstra said, according to the Miami Herald.
James added that the Heat were "in support of the Clippers" and said that he believes "just should be served" by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who pledged on Saturday to investigate Sterling's comments and has scheduled a press conference for 2:00 p.m. ET in New York City to address the situation.
The back-to-back champions joined a growing list of teams to show their support for the Clippers.
The Blazers and Rockets showed their support for the Clippers by wearing black socks during their Sunday night game. Portland's players also left their warm-up jackets at center court.
Prior to Sunday's game between the Nets and Raptors in Brooklyn, Michael K. Williams, who famously played Omar in the HBO television program "The Wire," took the microphone to address the Barclays Center crowd.
"Ladies and gentlemen, there is no room in the NBA for Donald Sterling," Williams said.
TMZ.com reports that R&B singer Tank will not perform the National Anthem prior to Game 5 between the Clippers and Warriors at the Staples Center on Tuesday because of Sterling's comments. Bottom video via YouTube user jareddubin5