NEW YORK (AP) — Used car dealership chain CarMax said Monday that it is ending its sponsorship of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers in the wake of racist comments attributed to team owner Donald Sterling.
A second sponsor, insurer State Farm, said it "will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization." For now, it will continue to run its Born to Assist ad campaign, which stars Clippers point guard Chris Paul.
Sterling is alleged to have made the comments in a recorded conversation with a woman. Portions of that conversation were released over the weekend by TMZ and Deadspin, leading to a national outcry.
"CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers' owner completely unacceptable," Richmond, Va.-based CarMax Inc. said Monday in an emailed statement. "While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for 9 years and support the team, fans and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship."
State Farm also described the remarks as offensive and said it will monitor the situation as the facts are sorted out. The Born to Assist campaign began in December 2012, and it features Paul as himself and a fictional insurance-selling twin, Cliff Paul.