At least six companies involved in the automotive industry, including Mercedes-Benz and Kia Motors, have removed advertising budgets from the Los Angeles Clippers and their now banned and fined owner, Donald Sterling.
The exodus occurred prior to the announcement of the NBA’s decision to reprimand Sterling after the 80-year-old billionaire’s racially insensitive remarks.
(Editor’s Note: The WeeklyDriver.com has decided not to print the remarks attributed to Sterling.)
In addition to Kia and Mercedes-Benz, CarMax, State Farm Insurance, Red Bull and Yokohama have ended their relationships with the team.
Several other major sponsors have also ended their relationships with the Clippers and its owner.
Teams’ finances aren’t made public, so it is not known how much money the loss of sponsorships has cost the Clippers or the NBA.
“CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers’ owner completely unacceptable,” a CarMax spokeswoman wrote in an email to Huffington Post. “These views directly conflict with CarMax’s culture of respect for all individuals.”
“While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for nine years and support the team, fans and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship.”
Additional auto-related company spokespeople offered similar statements.