A recording of racist remarks reportedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling triggered a National Basketball Association investigation and led basketball legend Magic Johnson to describe the comments as "a black eye for the NBA" on Saturday.
The statements sparked an uproar in the league, but also among fans on social media, where the hashtags #DonaldSterling and #BoycottClippers were trending nationally.
The NBA said it is investigating an audio recording obtained by TMZ in which Sterling is allegedly heard making racist comments.
"We are in the process of conducting a full investigation into the audio recording obtained by TMZ. The remarks heard on the recording are disturbing and offensive, but at this time we have no further information," read a statement from NBA Executive Vice President of Communications Mike Bass.
The audio recording posted on the TMZ website is of a male voice criticizing a woman — allegedly Sterling's girlfriend — for posting online about "associating with black people" and bringing them to games. The man is also heard chastising the woman for posting a photo on Instagram with Johnson.
NBC News was unable to independently verify the audio.
The retired Los Angeles Lakers star sounded off on Twitter.
Former Clippers guard Baron Davis took to Twitter with his reaction to the news, while current Clippers center DeAndre Jordan posted a black square on Instagram with no caption information.
American actor and comedian Kevin Hart posted several tweets in protest of the alleged comments.
Meanwhile, a statement from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People urged the Los Angeles branch of the organization "to withdraw Donald Sterling from the honoree list at its upcoming Gala. We also suggest that African Americans and Latinos should honor his request and not attend the games," it read.
"If these allegations are proven true, we are extremely disappointed in Mr. Sterling," said Alice Huffman, president of the NAACP California State Conference.
The Los Angeles Clippers released a statement Saturday questioning the legitimacy of the recording.
First published April 26 2014, 3:09 PM