Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp did not expect to be dragged into the scandal surrounding Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling but he did not shy away from responding. When his name become unexpectedly linked to the racist remarks attributed to Sterling making headlines over the weekend, the All-Star outfielder changed his walk-up music to Michael Jackson's "Black Or White" on Sunday when his team hosted the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.
“Racism is kind of old, for real,” Kemp said on Sunday, via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. “Honestly, I just feel sorry for him, that he feels that way about African American people.”
Kemp was drawn into the controversy when Deadspin released an extended version of an unverified audio recording initially released by TMZ. Both recordings are purportedly of Sterling expressing racist views during an argument with a friend, V. Stiviano. In the recording obtained by Deadspin, a photo of Stiviano and Kemp posted on Instagram became a point of contention. Sterling allegedly told Stiviano that he doesn't want her to bring black friends to Clippers games or post pictures with black friends on Instagram.
"I thought Matt Kemp is mixed, and he was OK, just like me," a woman can be heard saying in the recording obtained by Deadspin.
A teammate gave Kemp the idea to use Jackson's "Black Or White" by playing it in the locker room before the game, according to USA Today Sports.
"Hey," Kemp reportedly said upon hearing the song played. "I should walk out to this, huh?"