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NBA Commissioner to Departed LA Clippers Sponsors: ‘Judge Us by Our Response to This Incident’

TheWrap stopped counting on Monday after 13 major companies jumped ship

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver hopes that companies will again clamor to be the the official something of the L.A. Clippers soon enough.

Shortly after Silver banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life, he begged the sponsors that jumped ship — and the few left that were potentially considering withdrawing support — to give the league another chance.

When asked what he would say to the more than a dozen major sponsors that withdrew support, Silver said, “Judge us by our response to this incident.”

Also read: Donald Sterling Banned for Life From NBA for Racist Remarks, Fined

On the financial impact to the team and league in general due to the incident, Silver commented: “I don’t know, this has all happened in three days, and so I’m hopeful that there will be no long-term damage to the league and the Clippers franchise.”

“This will take some time and appropriate healing will be necessary,” Silver concluded. “I can understand how upset they are and I’ll do my best to bring them back into the NBA family.”

Also read: Los Angeles NAACP Under Fire for Donald Sterling Relationship

CarMax, Kia, Virgin America, State Farm, Mercedes-Benz dealers, Amtrak, Red Bull, Sprint, Lumber Liquidators, Yokohama Tire Corp., Corona, AQUAhydrate and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians all pulled support from the Clippers on Monday.

Perhaps Silver’s words are making an impact. On Tuesday, not long after the commissioner’s press conference, Kia released a statement implying that reconciliation is imminent.

“As an official partner of the NBA, Kia Motors America appreciates and wholeheartedly endorses Commissioner Silver’s decisive action related to the offensive remarks allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling,” the statement reads. “We stand with the Commissioner, the league, the players and the fans in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views. We look forward to a positive resolution and continuing our relationships within the NBA community, including our league and team sponsorships and our personal ties to Blake Griffin.”

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