National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson both issued statements on Saturday regarding the racist comments allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. According to the audio recording obtained by TMZ, a man believed to be Sterling told his girlfriend that "it bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people."
Paul, the Clippers' All-Star point guard, said in a statement that "this is a very serious issue which we will address aggressively."
"We have asked Mayor Kevin Johnson to expand his responsibilities with the NBPA, to determine our response and our next steps. As players, we owe it to our teams and our fans to keep our focus on our game, the playoffs, and a drive to the Finals," Paul said.
Johnson called the reported comments "reprehensible and unacceptable."
"The National Basketball Players Association must and will play a very active role in determining how this issue is addressed. There needs to be an immediate investigation and if the reports are true, there needs to be strong and swift action taken. I have spoken with NBPA President Chris Paul and will be leading the NBPA in addressing the implications of this serious matter. I will be formally reaching out to the NBA today to determine our next steps. While I originally came on to lead the Executive Director search, this issue requires immediate attention from the Players Association. I will be keeping Chris Paul, the Executive Committee, and all player representatives informed of every step."