How will Clippers fans and LA sports fans react?

Apr 28, 2014

Los Angeles Clippers fans react to a score against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 7, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. ; Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Following the dissemination of Donald Sterling’s alleged racist comments, companies are withdrawing sponsorship deals with the Clippers, and players protested by turning their shirts inside-out during warm-ups, obscuring the Clippers logos. But how will fans react and make a statement?

As an owner, Donald Sterling benefits from all NBA revenue, not just Clippers’ ticket sales. Is there any logical way for fans who wish to send a message to Sterling to boycott the owner? Can they do so without turning their back on Clippers players? 

The Clippers will play the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles tomorrow night in game 5 of the tied playoff series. In a press conference today, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said that however fans react, he hopes it will be “as one.” 

If you are a Clippers fan, would you still attend a game in light of these alleged comments? Los Angeles basketball fans, do you think some action by fans is necessary–and what might it look like?

Michael Peterson, sports desk editor at The Stanford Daily. He’s sophomore at Stanford studying computer science and a self-declared Clippers fan. His piece, called “A moral dilemma for Clippers fans” came out this morning in the school paper. 

Howard Wasserman, Writes for The Sports Law Blog; Law Professor, Florida International University; specializing in freedom of speech

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