State Farm, Kia, Virgin America and CarMax have suspended advertising activities supporting the Los Angeles Clippers in the wake of a growing controversy centered around racist remarks allegedly uttered by the team’s owner, Donald Sterling.
According to new statements, the advertisers felt maintaining ad ties to the team after reports surfaced about Sterling’s remarks would not be in their best interest.
“The comments allegedly made by Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, are offensive and reprehensible, and they are inconsistent with our views and values,” Kia said in a statement Monday.
Clippers star Blake Griffin has starred in multiple TV advertisements for the car company, which says it will suspend all advertising and sponsorship activations related to the team.
State Farm, which has included Clippers player Chris Paul in its advertising, said in a recent statement: ““State Farm strongly supports and respects diversity and inclusion in its workforce and customers. The remarks attributed to the Clippers’ owner are offensive. While those involved sort out the facts, we will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization. We are monitoring the situation and we’ll continually assess our options. We have a great relationship with Chris Paul and will continue supporting the Born to Assist advertising campaign involving Chris and now other NBA players.”
The NBA is expected to make an announcement regarding Sterling’s alleged comments on Tuesday.