Kia and CarMax pull LA Clipper sponsorships in wake of alleged Sterling commentsMon, 28 Apr 2014 15:31:00 EST
There's fallout across the automotive advertising world today as companies react to alarming, racially insensitive statements alleged to have been made Donald Sterling, owner of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers franchise. Last Friday, entertainment website TMZ published excerpts from an audio recording, allegedly between Sterling and his girlfriend V. Stiviano, in which the Clippers owner said, among other things, that he didn't want her to bring black people to his games, including LA Lakers legend Magic Johnson. Sterling has yet to respond publicly to the allegations.
The story quickly gained steam over the weekend, and this Monday it has seen Kia Motors, auto sales website CarMax and insurance giant State Farm all pull sponsorship activities with the Clippers.
In a statement Kia said the alleged statements by Sterling were, "offensive and reprehensible," calling them "inconsistent with our views and values." Kia says it is "suspending" its advertising and sponsorship activities with the team, though has yet to clarify if that suspension includes commercials featuring NBA star and Clippers power forward Blake Griffin.
CarMax has actually ended its tie-up with the team, one that has lasted some nine years, saying "CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers' owner completely unacceptable. These views directly conflict with CarMax's culture of respect for all individuals."
Find the press releases from Kia and CarMax in their full forms, below.
Kia Motors America Statement on Alleged Donald Sterling Audio Tape
"The comments allegedly made by Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, are offensive and reprehensible, and they are inconsistent with our views and values. We are suspending our advertising and sponsorship activations with the Clippers. Meanwhile, as fans of the game of basketball, our support of the players and the sport is unwavering."
CarMax statement regarding LA Clippers sponsorship
CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers' owner completely unacceptable. These views directly conflict with CarMax's culture of respect for all individuals. While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for 9 years and support the team, fans and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship.
By Seyth Miersma
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