Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg has publicly appealed to wealthy businessmen and women to join forces with her in an attempt to buy the Los Angeles Clippers sports team after owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the National Basketball Association (NBA) for making racist remarks that were caught on tape.
Sterling was handed the severe punishment and fined $2.5 million (£1.6 million) by NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday (29Apr14) after audio footage of him rebuking a girlfriend for posting a photo of herself with black basketball legend Magic Johnson on Instagram.com went viral over the weekend (26Apr14). Silver also declared he plans to strip Sterling of ownership and now Goldberg, who is a New York Knicks supporter, has announced her interest in becoming a basketball boss.
Speaking on her U.S. talk show The View on Wednesday (30Apr14), she said, “I’m very happy about all of this (Sterling’s punishment), because I’m personally looking for a kerbillionaire (sic) to help me buy this team. I’m serious because there are no women who own any NBA teams or no teams anywhere seem to be owned by women.”
Meanwhile, hip-hop entrepreneurs Dr. Dre and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, who recently topped a Forbes.com poll as 2014’s Wealthiest Hip Hop Artist with an estimated fortune of $700 million (£437.5 million), have also expressed an interest in buying the Clippers. In a post on Twitter.com, Diddy writes, “I will always be a Knicks fan, but I am a business man #DiddyBuyTheClippers #NameYourPrice”.
And Dr. Dre, who placed second on the Forbes rich list with a $550 million (£343.8 million) fortune, tells TMZ.com, “I’m thinking about it… yes.”
Reports suggest boxing champs Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and media mogul Oprah Winfrey are also interested in purchasing the Clippers from Sterling. Mayweather, Jr. tells the Los Angeles Times he is “very, very interested” in taking over the team with “a group of billionaires”. Longtime Clippers fan Frankie Muniz has also expressed an interest in buying the team – he took to his Facebook.com page on Wednesday (30Apr14) and wrote, “I am a Clippers fan. I’ve never been a fan of the owner. I never wanted the team to win for the owner. I am a fan of the players, the coaches, and I root for the team to win for the fans. Clipper Nation. I root for the team to win for themselves. For their dreams and aspirations.” The actor also tweeted, “I am buying the Los Angeles Clippers.”