Duncan: Clippers owner has no 'place in the NBA'

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling should lose his ownership of the NBA team if inflammatory and racist remarks he allegedly made on a telephone call are verified.

“I don’t think he has a place in the NBA, and the owners are going to have to step up,” Duncan said, according to The Washington Post. “The more you read about this gentleman, it seems like this is who he is. Sometimes people with money think they can make their own rules, and he was about to do that for a while.”

Sterling has come under fire after the release of a taped phone conversation in which he appears to admonish his girlfriend for posting pictures with black celebrities, including NBA hall-of-famer Magic Johnson, to her Instagram account. The audio also suggests Sterling demanded that his girlfriend not bring any minorities to Clippers games.

Over the weekend, President Obama also admonished Sterling's “incredibly offensive racist statements” during a news conference in Malaysia.

“I don’t think I have to interpret those statements for you; they kind of speak for themselves," the president said. "When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything; you just let them talk.”

Duncan was a co-captain of Harvard's men's basketball team, and played professionally in Australia between 1987 and 1991. He also commented to a reporter on the controversy over the Washington Redskins’ name.

“Here in Washington, we have the Washington Redskins — is that name appropriate for a professional football team? I don’t think it is." Duncan said. "We should challenge the status quo right here in Washington.”

Obama has said that he would change the name if he owned the team.

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