WaPo Sports Reporter: Media ‘Complicit’ in Protecting Donald Sterling for Years

Michael Wise, the Washington Post’s sports reporter, told CNN’s The Lead host Jake Tapper on Monday that he did not believe the press should have been surprised when audio emerged featuring L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist remarks. He said that the press was “complicit” in failing to investigate Sterling for making well-documented offensive statements or exhibiting inappropriate behavior.

Tapper noted that Sterling’s strange behavior had been an open secret in the press for years before this latest incident. He noted that anecdotes about Sterling walking around half naked in meetings with players or punishing his son by beating him with a belt were scrubbed from a Sports Illustrated report on the Clippers’ owner.

RELATED: Barbara Walters Says ‘Erratic’ Donald Sterling Backed Out of Interview

“How much did sports journalists potentially not report about Sterling?” Tapper asked.

Wise said that he had interactions with Sterling in the past that were not racist, but that left him with the impression that the NBA team owner was a “bizarre guy.”

“We as the media have to also be complicit in this as well,” the sports writer said. “This was a guy practicing housing discrimination, which is the biggest modern form of segregation anyone can practice.”

“And we didn’t go after it until it effected the NBA,” Wise asserted.

“There is a lesson for the media in all this,” Tapper agreed.

Watch the clip below, via CNN:

[Image via screengrab]

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