Miami Heat Protests Donald Sterling in Show of Solidarity with Clippers [Video]

The Miami Heat showed solidarity with the Los Angeles Clippers over the Donald Sterling scandal before Monday night’s playoff game against the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Miami Heat team followed the example of Clippers and staged a silent protest against Donald Sterling, who allegedly made some racist comments in conversation with his mistress V. Stiviano.

Like the Clippers did on Sunday, the stars of the Heat such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the team all removed their warm-up jackets and placed them at midcourt before the game, revealing t-shirts that were turned inside out to hide the team logos.

The Heat also wore black socks and headbands during the game.  The back-to-back champions joined a growing list of teams to show their support for the Clippers. The Blazers and Rockets showed their support for the Clippers by wearing black socks during their Sunday night game. Portland’s players also left their warm-up jackets at center court.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters before Monday’s game that his team would “likely” show support for the Clippers. Even LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had both said in the locker room before the game they weren’t sure what they would do to show their support for the Clippers.

“This is obviously a very difficult and sensitive time for all of us, and the toughest thing is your heart goes out to the players and staff and the organization that is still dealing with this in L.A.,” Spoelstra said, according to the Miami Herald.

In 2012, the Heat made a protest of a different kind. They posted photos of themselves in black hoodies in response to Trayvon Martin’s death.

Both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James said the distraction caused by the controversy has affected the Clippers on the court. The Clippers lost to the Warriors 118-97 on Sunday.

Since TMZ first released an audio recording of a man identified as Sterling making racist comments during an argument, the Heat organization has been vocal in its criticism of such remarks. In a statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Heat owner Micky Arison described Sterling’s alleged comments as “appalling, offensive and very sad.”

The NBA will hold a press conference on Tuesday to address its investigation into the comments purportedly made by Sterling, even though Sterling’s attitudes toward minorities have been known by close followers of the NBA for years. Meanwhile, Clippers sponsors are dropping like flies as brands look to disassociate themselves from Sterling’s comments, reports Mashable.

Meanwhile, Eric Miller, who is married to Sterling’s daughter Joanna Sterling Miller and is Director of Basketball Administration for the Clippers told TMZ Sports that if his father-in-law fires him for speaking up about the “disgusting” rant, so be it.

“I find the statements and representations made by the Clippers’ team owner to be deplorable and disgusting,” he told TMZ. “There is no room in sports or society in general, for racism.

“I pledge my full support for the wonderful players, coaches and staff members of the Clippers organization. I have complete faith that Commissioner Silver will deal with this matter swiftly and severely.”

Sterling has faced extensive federal charges of civil rights violations and racial discrimination in business, making shocking race-related statements in sworn testimony before reaching multimillion-dollar settlements.

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