The Los Angeles Clippers, in the midst of a first round playoff matchup with the Golden State Warriors, were dealt a heavy blow of internal distraction when extremely-racist comments allegedly attributed to Clippers team owner Donald Sterling were made public this past weekend.
Clippers players have chosen to not speak to the media on the issue but they made their opinions quite clear in a silent protest prior to their game last night in Oakland.
They took to the floor while wearing their usual pre-game attire, the club immediately huddled at centre court before stripping off their Clipper-branded warmup tops and tossing them to the ground.
The Clippers players then completed their pre-game warmups wearing their shooting shirts inside out, hiding any Clippers logos.
“It’s just us, only us. We’re all we got,” Clippers point guard Chris Paul was reportedly heard shouting to his teammates as they ran out to the floor.
Once the game started the Clippers were dressed in their usual blue road alternate jerseys accompanied by black socks and accessories, also in protest of Sterling’s alleged remarks.
The Clippers were not alone, the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockers both donned black socks to show their support during their playoff game last night.
“I wanted to do something to support our brothers,” Portland Trail Blazers’ forward LaMarcus Aldridge said in regards to their team wearing black.
This is not the first jersey protest to be seen in the NBA, just over 10 years ago on February 27, 2004 NBA referees around the league wore their jerseys inside-out in protest of a suspension to referee Michael Henderson.