Sponsors Begin To Abandon Los Angeles Clippers Over Owner’s Racist Rant

April 28, 2014 2:20 pm

Like so many dominoes, sponsors of the Los Angeles Clippers are abandoning the team in quick succession over its owner Donald Sterling’s alleged racist comments.

After conflicting reports that it was ending its sponsorship of the Clippers entirely, the insurance company State Farm announced Monday that it was “taking a pause” in its relationship with the team, according to a statement obtained by the Washington Post. The company said that it would continue to support Clippers point guard Chris Paul, who heads the National Basketball Players’ Association and appears in the company’s ads.

CarMax, a used car dealership chain that has sponsored the team for nine years, announced that it was parting ways with the team and told the Associated Press that it found the comments attributed to Sterling “completely unacceptable.”

Soon after, CNBC reported that Virgin America was ending its relationship with the Clippers. KIA suspended its sponsorship and advertising with the team, the network also reported, and Red Bull suspended all marketing activity related to the Clippers.

AQUAhydrate, a performance water brand, also decided to suspend its sponsorship until the NBA completes its investigation, according to a statement obtained by Buzzfeed. The website also reported that while Corona said it was “appalled” by the alleged remarks comments, the company was just “reviewing our sponsorship agreement with the Clippers to determine appropriate next steps.”

In a statement posted to its Twitter account, Amtrak explained that its sponsorship of the team came to a close at the end of the regular season but condemned Sterling’s “language” as “inconsistent with our corporate belief to treat everyone with integrity and dignity.”

The NBA is expected to announce the results of its investigation in a Tuesday press conference.

This post will be updated.

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