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Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Clippers print controversial ad

ESPNLosAngeles.com

The Los Angeles Clippers put an ad in the newspaper to celebrate Black History Month, but the seemingly well-intentioned act has raised some questions.

The full-page in the Sunday Los Angeles Times featured the photos of owner Donald Sterling and star Blake Griffin and said that the date of the celebration is Wednesday, March 2. The problem is that Black History Month has been in February for the past 35 years.

As part of the celebration, the team says it will "admit 1,000 underprivileged kids for free." It remains to be seen how the team will determine whether the African-American children who show up with the ad are underprivileged.

"This event is another successful, well-intentioned effort on the owner's part to ensure that we give something meaningful back to our community," the Clippers said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It's as simple as that. That's what matters. Parents will accompany their children at no cost and hundreds of families will benefit."

Sterling has been in the center of a number of controversies regarding race. In 2009, he agreed to pay a record $2.73 million to settle allegations by the government that he refused to rent apartments to Hispanics, blacks and to families with children.

Longtime executive Elgin Baylor sued Sterling and the Clippers that same year, saying he was forced out due to age and racial discrimination.

A judge said Wednesday he wants jury selection in Baylor's lawsuit to begin Friday or Monday.

More recently, Sterling was accused of heckling Clippers guard Baron Davis at games. Davis, who is black, has since been traded to the Cavaliers.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.