In what may be a telling sign of the depth of the opposition that's building toward Donald Sterling -- and the amount of pressure that new commissioner Adam Silver is facing to act swiftly and harshly against the Clippers owner -- ex-NBA superstar and current team owner Michael Jordan says he's both disgusted and outraged by the racist comments allegedly made by Sterling.
Jordan released a statement Sunday addressing the matter as both the current owner of the Bobcats and a former Hall of Fame player, mainly with the Bulls. He says that as an owner, ''I'm completely disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views.''
As a former player, Jordan says ''I'm completely outraged.''
Jordan has long been reluctant to comment on controversial matters, and his silence yesterday -- while NBA legends such as Magic Johnson and LeBron James came down hard on Sterling -- was thought by some to be an indication that Sterling had pockets of support within the league's power structure. But there's no wiggle room whatsoever in the statement Jordan released Sunday:
"I look at this from two perspectives – as a current owner and a former player. As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly. As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA - or anywhere else - for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level.”
In a press conference Saturday night, Silver promised a swift investigation into, and resolution of, the matter, saying he hoped to have a decision made by the time the Clippers play their next home playoff game on Tuesday.