When Yokohama Tire Corp. signed on as a sponsor of the Los Angeles Clippers National Basketball Association team last November, it hoped for a successful season and a lot of publicity.
The Clippers finished the season 57-25 and the third-seeded playoff team in the Western Conference. The publicity that followed the Clippers throughout their highly successful season was all good.
Until now. Over the weekend, racist remarks attributed to team owner Donald Sterling have created a firestorm of bad publicity. And Yokohama has responded to those comments.
In an official statement, the Fullerton, Calif.-based company denounced Sterling’s words.
“Yokohama Tire Corporation does not tolerate discrimination in any fashion,” said Andrew Briggs, director of marketing and product planning. “The alleged remarks by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling are completely unacceptable and we find it necessary to immediately suspend our sponsorship of the organization as a result.
“We will continue to assess the situation and weigh our options. Meanwhile, we wish to express our continued support to the Clippers players and fans.”
A number of sponsors have reportedly cut ties with the team completely, including Chumash Casino Resort and CarMax Business Services LLC.
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