Yokohama suspends Clippers sponsorship in wake of racism controversy
Donald Sterling, owner of the US basketball team Los Angeles Clippers, is in a lot of hot water over a recorded conversation in which he allegedly told his girlfriend not to bring black people to games played by his team. Even President Barack Obama has described the comments as being “incredibly offensive racist statements”. Team sponsor Yokohama Tire Corporation has also responded to the incident, placing a question mark alongside its future association with the Clippers.
“Yokohama Tire Corporation does not tolerate discrimination in any fashion,” wrote director of marketing and product planning Andrew Briggs in a statement. “The alleged remarks by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling are completely unacceptable and we find it necessary to immediately suspend our sponsorship of the organisation as a result. We will continue to assess the situation and weigh our options. Meanwhile, we wish to express our continued support to the Clippers players and fans.”
In November 2013 Yokohama Tire Corporation announced it had signed up as the ‘Official Tire of the Los Angeles Clippers’ under a two-year sponsorship deal.