Over the weekend, people spent some time listening to audio of L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling arguing with his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, over her decision to post photos of herself with black athletes on Instagram. Over the course of the tape, Sterling says a number of profoundly racist things, and those comments have been condemned by pretty much everyone from President Obama on down. The NBA plans to announce the results of its investigation into the tape’s authenticity on Tuesday (a statement from Clippers president Andy Roeser suggested that it may have been altered somehow, though nobody seems to be denying that it’s Sterling’s voice saying the vile stuff heard on the recording). Meanwhile, as calls for Sterling to leave the league continue to mount, Donald Trump sees the whole thing as the result of Sterling being “set up by a very, very bad girlfriend.”
“She’s called the ‘girlfriend from hell,’” said Trump while talking about Stiviano on Monday’s Fox & Friends. “She was baiting him and she’s a terrible human being. The way she led him along, I mean — he should know if he were there, if he was with it, he would know after one or two of those questions that she was asking that there’s something going on here.”
It’s entirely possible — even likely — that Stiviano, who happens to be black and Mexican, recorded her racist boyfriend being racist with the intention of using his statements against him later. But really, who (with the exception of Trump) could blame her for doing so?
For her part, Stiviano said through her lawyer that she “did not release the tape(s) to any news media.” As Roeser pointed out, Stiviano is the subject of a preexisting lawsuit brought by Sterling’s wife, Shelly Sterling, who wants the other woman to return the lavish gifts and large sums of money given to her by the octogenarian billionaire.
However, Shelly is not exactly sticking up for her estranged husband, who seems to have held similiar views back when they were on better terms. In a statement, she said that her family is “devastated” by Sterling’s comments. “My children and I do not share these despicable views or prejudices,” she said. “We will not let one man’s small-mindedness poison the spirit of the fans and accomplishments of the team in the city we love.” However, while watching the Clippers’ playoff game solo, she did tell ESPN’s Lisa Salters, “I haven’t listened to the entire thing, but I do believe there are some parts that were cut out.” Even if that turns out to be true, the parts that were left in — by Stiviano or whoever else — do seem to speak for themselves.