L.A. Jewish leader: Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling is not part of Jewish community
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Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, has been banned for life by the NBA and fined $2.5 million for making racist comments.
Under the punishment laid down April 29 by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Sterling may not associate with the team or the league. Sterling will also be pressured to sell the team, said the commissioner, who like Sterling is Jewish.
Sterling was born Donald Tokowitz in Chicago. His parents, Susan and Mickey, were Jewish immigrants, according to Wikipedia.
According to the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, a search of public records, made available through Guidestar.com, indicates that from 2010 to 2012, the Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation gave at least $10,000 to groups including the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Jewish Vocational Service of Los Angeles and the Museum of Tolerance.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance, supported Silver’s actions, according to the Journal. The museum received three donations of $10,000 between 2010 and 2012, according to Guidestar.com.
“There’s no place in America for this kind of racism,” Hier told the Journal. “We believe the action to ban him for life is correct, and we will not accept any donations from Donald Sterling in the future.”
L.A. federation CEO and President Jay Sanderson said in an April 29 phone interview with the Journal that his organization also would not consider future donations. It received $10,000 in 2012.
“Donald Sterling is clearly not a member of the Jewish community,” Sanderson said. “He has chosen to make small gifts to a large number of organizations. … We are appalled and abhor the comments Sterling made. We condemn Sterling for his comments, and we plan on not accepting his gifts in the future.”
Silver announced the sanctions after an investigation determined that a recording of a racist rant was, in fact, a recording of Sterling’s voice. TMZ said the recording was a conversation between Sterling, a married man who is estranged from his wife, and his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, a model of African American and Mexican heritage.
On the tape, Sterling is heard explaining that his views reflect the way the world works. As evidence, he says that black Jews in Israel “are just treated like dogs.”
Jewish groups have roundly criticized Sterling’s remarks.
Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, called the remarks “reprehensible.” The American Jewish Committee was one of several other national Jewish organizations to condemn the remarks, calling on the NBA to take appropriate action. — jta