April 28, 2014 3:45 pm

Donald Sterling racism scandal: Clippers hold protest, lose sponsors

The NBA is set to address the scandal swirling around Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

The league announced that a press conference will be held Tuesday regarding the investigation into racist comments allegedly made by Sterling.

Watch the press conference live here at 2 p.m. ET.

The NBA launched an investigation after an audio recording of a man identified as Sterling – using racially charged comments and urging a girlfriend not to bring black people to his team’s games – was obtained and released by TMZ and Deadspin.

Clippers lose sponsorship deals

Meanwhile, the Clippers have lost a sponsor in the wake of Sterling’s alleged racist rant. Used car dealership CarMax will end its nine-year deal with the team, calling the comments “completely unacceptable.”

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Insurer State Farm said it “will be taking a pause in our relationship” with the Clippers and will be monitoring the situation closely.

Outrage following Sterling’s alleged comments

NBA commissioner is facing serious pressure to deal with the scandal in a timely matter, with many calling it a distraction and “black-eye” for the league.

“This situation is a massive distraction for the league right now,” said Sacramento Mayor and former NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson. “It must be addressed immediately.”

READ MORE: Pressure mounts on NBA commissioner to act on Sterling racism scandal

Silver’s first priority is to verify whether the man on the recording is Sterling. If it is, the next move for the new commissioner – who works for the owners – remains unclear.

Many have publicly spoken out to condemn Sterling’s alleged remarks, including NBA legend and Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan.

“As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views,” said Jordan in a statement released Sunday.

“As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA – or anywhere else – for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed.”

Hall of Famer Magic Johnson – who was referenced in the recording – tweeted that Sterling’s comments are a “black eye for the NBA.”

Johnson added that as long as Sterling is owner of the Clippers, he wouldn’t attend another game.

Sterling won’t receive NAACP lifetime achievement award

Representatives from the Los Angeles NAACP chapter held a press conference to expand on an announcement made Sunday regarding the embattled Clippers owner.

On Sunday, the NAACP announced on Twitter that Sterling would no longer receive a lifetime achievement award from the L.A. chapter. Sterling was slated to receive the honour on May 15.

During Monday’s press conference, NAACP officials said that a small amount of money Sterling gave the organization would be returned adding that if the voice on the recording is indeed Sterling, there is a price he must pay for his attempts to turn back the clock on racial relations in the United States.

WATCH: NAACP drops plan to honour Clippers owner following racist remarks

NBA players protest, show solidarity against racism

During Sunday’s game between the Clippers and Golden State Warriors, L.A. players made a silent protest of Sterling’s purported comments.

As they ran onto the court for Game 4 of their first-round NBA playoff series, players huddled together and threw their warm-up jackets in a pile at centre court.

The team also wore their red practice shirts on inside-out, hiding the team’s logo.

Los Angeles Clippers players sit on the bench wearing their warm-up tops inside out against the Golden State Warriors in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on April 27, 2014 in Oakland, California. The players wore theirs warm up this way in protest of owner Donald Sterling’s alleged racially insensitive remarks.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

READ MORE: Clippers silently protest owner Donald Sterling’s alleged racist remarks

Also on Sunday, players in the Portland Trail Blazers-Houston Rockets game wore black socks reportedly as a sign of solidarity with the Clippers.

With files from The Associated Press

© Shaw Media, 2014

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