Clippers Sponsors Pulling Out After Owner's Racist Rant
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's racist tirade, caught on tape and released over the weekend, is starting to cost the team some major advertisers.
State Farm was the first to drop the Clippers like a hot, blatantly racist potato. Translation LLC CEO Steve Stoute announced on ESPN radio that the insurance giant would no longer sponsor the team, although sponsorship of individual players may continue. (ESPN's Darren Rovell has since reported that State Farm is merely "assessing the situation.")
Stoute said he expected other sponsors would be pulling out soon, as well. The next to do so was used-car retailer CarMax. The company made its announcement to BuzzFeed.
The Clippers' remaining 7 advertisers are 1-800Loanmart, Amtrak, Anheuser-Busch, AQUAhydrate, Corona, Virgin America, and Yokohama.
Meanwhile in the land of delicious irony, Magic Johnson, one of the specific black people Sterling insulted in his bigoted rant, is rumored as a possible buyer for the team.
Update: Virgin America has also suspended its relationship with the Clippers.
Update 2: Kia and AQUAhydrate have also pulled out, and Red Bull has suspended all activities with the Clippers, although it will continue to sponsor Blake Griffin.
Amtrak's contract had already expired, but it condemned Sterling's comments in a statement. Anheuser-Busch, maker of "the official beer of the NBA," isn't actually a team sponsor, but said it supports "appropriate action" against Sterling.
At this point, the Clippers' only advertisers are Yokohama Tires, Corona and LoanMart.
Update 3: Yokohama and LoanMart are out. Now Corona, which is "reviewing" its agreement with the Clippers, stands as the team's lone advertiser.