(JTA) — The Jewish mayor of Los Angeles predicted that L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling will put up a “protracted fight” before he sells the team.
Eric Garcetti told the CBS program “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he would continue to press Sterling, who also is Jewish, to sell the Clippers in light of his lifetime ban from the team and the NBA instituted last week by the league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, for making racist comments in a taped telephone conversation.
“He thinks he’s going to be the owner for a long time,” Garcetti said, adding that Sterling “believes in his heart that he is a very good person.”
‘This will be a long, protracted fight and a painful thing for our city,” the mayor also said.
Garcetti said he would consider urging fans to boycott Clippers’ games if Sterling remains the owner, but said the whole city is behind the team. He said he thought Clippers’ players would have a hard time continuing to play for the team knowing that its revenues were going to someone who made such racist comments.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal last week reported that area Jewish organizations denounced Sterling’s comments, despite receiving tens of thousands of dollars in donations from him.
Jay Sanderson, CEO and president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, told the Jewish Journal that his organization also would not consider accepting future donations from Sterling. He gave about $10,000 last year.
The Donald T. Sterling Foundation has made donations to more than 10 Los Angeles Jewish organizations over the past three years, according to the Journal.
Among the organizations that received donations are Yeshiva Gedolah of Los Angeles, Jewish Vocational Service of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, the Museum of Tolerance and Guardians of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging.
TMZ published a 10-minute recording of a racist rant on its website on April 25, saying the recording was a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend.
Two days later, extended audio from a conversation between a man identified as Sterling and his model girlfriend V. Stiviano was released by the website Deadspin in which 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.”