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Matt Barnes opens up about Donald Sterling scandal, KKK incident in high school

Matt Barnes, Clippers, Donald Sterling

Former Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes is one of the players featured in Quibi’s new documentary called “Blackballed.”

The series will examine race in America through the lens of the Donald Sterling saga.

During an interview with CBS Sports’ James Herbert, Barnes talked about the Sterling scandal:

It was just a crazy situation. It was unprecedented. It was arguably the biggest scandal in the history of basketball. And to have that happen at the beginning of the playoffs when we’re taking on a tough, young Warrior team, a team that after that season became one of the greatest dynasties of all-time, it was just tough. Because at the time of the playoffs, the only thing that we focus on is our opponent. And day in, day out, the preparation and the execution and the adjustments we have to make. And then to have this thrown on our plates, nearly 36 hours before a game, was unbelievable…

As crazy as it was, Barnes continues to admit he wasn’t all that surprised by the scandal. He even brought up a KKK incident from high school to make his point:

Yeah, I think I’ll give you two reasons why I wasn’t surprised. One you mentioned, because of his track record, people had known what kind of slumlord he was and incidents and run-ins he’d had. And to me winning starts at the top, and that was one of the main reasons why the Clippers had never been good was because he’d been the owner. And then the other reason why I say it wasn’t a big deal is because I’ve faced real-life racism. In high school I had a situation where someone was calling my sister “n—–.” I was the big brother, I end up beating him up and then a day and a half later my whole school is vandalized by the KKK, having classrooms and a bathroom burned down and swastikas and “die n—–,” mannequins hanging from nooses. All this kind of stuff happened to me at my high school.

It has been six years since the Donald Sterling saga. He made racist remarks that were eventually leaked to the press. The former Clippers owner was forced to sell the team. He has also been banned from the NBA for life.

In the documentary, Chris Paul, Doc Rivers, DeAndre Jordan, Matt Barnes and JJ Redick will explain how they asserted their power during the Sterling saga. This documentary will surely be one every Clippers fan watches.

Steve Ballmer owns the Clippers now, and he has turned the franchise into a first-class organization. The Clippers were in second place in the Western Conference standings before the 2019-20 season was suspended due to COVID-19.