Sponsors halt support of Clippers after Sterling's alleged racist comments
theGRIO REPORT - Multiple sponsors have pulled their support of the LA Clippers organization in the wake of Clippers owner Donald Sterling's alleged racist comments that came to light this past weekend.
Multiple sponsors have pulled their support of the LA Clippers organization in the wake of Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s alleged racist comments that came to light this past weekend.
“While we continue to support the fans and the players, Virgin America has made the decision to end its sponsorship of the L.A. Clippers,” Virgin America spokesperson, Patricia Condon, told theGrio.
In a statement to theGrio, Kia Motors America said:
The comments allegedly made by Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, are offensive and reprehensible, and they are inconsistent with our views and values. We are suspending our advertising and sponsorship activations with the Clippers. Meanwhile, as fans of the game of basketball, our support of the players and the sport is unwavering.
State Farm released this statement to theGrio:
The remarks attributed to the Clippers’ owner are offensive. While those involved sort out the facts, we will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization. We are monitoring the situation and we’ll continually assess our options. We have a great relationship with Chris Paul and will continue supporting the Born to Assist advertising campaign involving Chris and now other NBA players.
Fellow team sponsor CarMax sent theGrio the following statement:
CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers’ owner completely unacceptable. These views directly conflict with CarMax’s culture of respect for all individuals. While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for 9 years and support the team, fans and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship.
LoanMart sent theGrio this statement:
The statements allegedly made by Donald Sterling are completely inconsistent with the views and ethics of the LoanMart organization. As a result, LoanMart is suspending our advertising and sponsorship activities for the Los Angeles Clippers for the time being and will continue to monitor the situation for further developments. We want to emphasize our continued support for the Clippers players, coaching staff and fans during this difficult time.
Water brand AQUAHydrate tweeted that they will suspend their sponsorship of the Clippers following “Sterling’s alleged intolerable comments.”
In the wake of Sterling’s alleged intolerable comments we are suspending our Clippers sponsorship until the NBA completes its investigation.
— AQUAhydrate (@AQUAhydrate) April 28, 2014
In a statement posted to PR Newswire, Yokohama Tire Corporation said:
Yokohama Tire Corporation does not tolerate discrimination in any fashion. The alleged remarks by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling are completely unacceptable and we find it necessary to immediately suspend our sponsorship of the organization as a result. We will continue to assess the situation and weigh our options. Meanwhile, we wish to express our continued support to the Clippers players and fans.
Corona sent this statement to theGrio:
Like everyone else, Corona is appalled by the comments allegedly made by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. These comments run counter to the type of brand Corona aspires to be. Because of this, we are suspending our sponsorship agreement with the Clippers until the NBA completes its investigation.
In a statement to theGrio, Red Bull released this statement:
We trust and respect the NBA’s process to formally investigate the matter, and in the interim, are suspending all team-related marketing activities. We will continue to support our Red Bull athlete, Blake Griffin, his teammates and coaching staff in their pursuit of an NBA title.
Adidas provided this comment to CNBC:
We are suspending our current marketing partnership with the Los Angeles Clippers. We will continue to monitor and evaluate our partnership with the team. We are committed to the players, coaches and training staff. Our status as the official on-court provider of the NBA remains unchanged.
TheGrio has also reached out to Amtrak, but have yet to receive comment.
For more stories on this topic and everything sports, visit theGrio’s sports page.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a statement from LoanMart, Yokohama, Corona, Red Bull and Adidas.
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.