Disgraced former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling — who was stripped of his team and received a lifetime ban from the National Basketball Association after he was caught making racist comments on audio — isn’t done trying to clear his name.
And he’s willing to muddy other people’s names to do it.
In legal papers filed in federal court in California on Tuesday, Sterling protests his lifetime suspension from the league and his loss of the Clippers, and the $2.5 million fine that was levied against him, contending that NBA players and owners had also made offensive remarks, and gotten off easier.
Among what Sterling cites as examples in his answer to the NBA’s counterclaim against him:
-Kobe Bryant calling a referee a “fucking faggot” on television, for which he received a $100,000 fine but no suspension.
-A team owner who donated $500,000 to the National Organization for Marriage, “which advocates around the nation to legally ban marriage between homosexual couples.”
-A player (who goes unnamed in the suit, but commonly goes by a nickname that rhymes with “Wack”) discussing Chinese basketball player Yao Ming and saying, “Tell Yao Ming, ‘ching chong yang wah ah so.'”
The suit goes on to cite other, non-bigotry-related offenses by owners and players, which drew lesser punishments than he received.
Sterling, already a controversial figure at the time, sparked massive controversy earlier this year earlier this year, when he was captured on tape making racially insensitive comments to his companion, V. Stiviano.
Sterling’s answer to the NBA’s counterclaim against him also takes issue with the “illegal” recording, saying that the NBA is guilty of a “blatant violation of Sterling’s California constitutional rights.”
“The NBA’s reliance on this illegal recording both prior to the initiation of this action and as the predicate of the claims in the Counterclaim constitutes a clear and blatant violation of Sterling’s California constitutional rights.”
The Clippers, meanwhile, were sold to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in August.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.