The LA Clippers have lost their first sponsor in the wake of the row sparked by owner Donald Sterling's reported racist remarks and others are considering their partnerships with the franchise, according to ESPN.
A scandal erupted over the weekend over the weekend after news website TMZ released a recording of what is purported to be Sterling telling his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, not to bring black people or people from minorities to any Clippers matches. His comments were prompted by Stiviano posing with NBA legend Magic Johnson for an Instagram picture.
The comments sparked an angry response from a number of NBA stars, including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, as well as Johnson himself. It has now got even more serious for the Clippers as ESPN ran a statement from franchise sponsor CarMax that stated they would be pulling out of the sponsorship deal.
"CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers' owner completely unacceptable," read the statement.
"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."
Another sponsor, State Farm, also criticised the comments and suggested their association with the Clippers would be in jeopardy should the comments prove to be attributed to Sterling.
"State Farm strongly supports and respects diversity and inclusion in its workforce and customers," said the company.
"The remarks attributed to the Clippers' owner are offensive. While those involved sort out the facts, we will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization."
While it is a very serious issue for Sterling and the NBA, it is a scandal that the Clippers most certainly did not need ahead of a crucial playoff clash with the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, which they went on to lose.