Los Angeles Clippers players are considering making a "stronger statement" than they did in Game 4 in protest of racist comments made by a man on recorded audio tape alleged to be owner Donald Sterling when the team returns home for Game 5 of their first-round series against the Golden State Warriors, according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears.
The Clippers staged a protest prior and during a 118-97 Game 4 loss at Golden State on Sunday, wearing their shooting shirts and practice jerseys inside-out. As the players took the court, they all tossed their warm-up jackets to mid-court before warming up:
The Clippers took off their shooting shirts and dumped them at center court. pic.twitter.com/Nod5QWsWJy— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 27, 2014
Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford were the two players behind the protest. In addition, Clippers players also wore black wristbands on their left arms and black socks.
Donald Sterling fallout
There had been some discussion of boycotting the game during a team meeting on Saturday, but the decision was made to play and instead go ahead with a protest. With the team returning to Staples Center for Game 5 on Tuesday, the players would like to come out with a bigger statement, although it's unknown just what it will be.
Clippers players haven't said too much about the controversy, but head coach Doc Rivers has spoken out on numerous occasions. Rivers admitted the whole situation has been a bit of a distraction:
"The mental preparation, on the other hand, I just -- honestly, I don't know," Rivers said. "Because, listen, as much as this is basketball, this is life. And our guys, they have family. They have friends. And they have cell phones. And I can't imagine how much they've been pulled on and talked to and what you should do and what you shouldn't do and what you should say. And that's abnormal to a normal playoff game."
Going home would seemingly be a benefit for the Clippers, but Rivers isn't so sure:
Doc Rivers: "We’re going home now. Usually that would mean we're going to our safe haven. And I don’t even know if that’s true."— J.A. Adande (@jadande) April 27, 2014
The NBA is still looking into the alleged comments and hope to complete the investigation within a few days.