Mark Jackson: Los Angeles Clippers Fans Should Boycott Game 5

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2014

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Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson is a man of many words, so he naturally has some advice for Los Angeles Clippers fans leading into Game 5:

Stay away.

In the aftermath of TMZ releasing an audio recording that allegedly features Clippers owner Donald Sterling making bigoted remarks to girlfriend V. Stiviano, calls to action have been frequent and extreme.

"If it was me, I wouldn't come to the game," Jackson said, per's Ethan Strauss. "I believe as fans, the loudest statement they could make as far as fans is to not show up to the game."

To be sure, Jackson isn't trying to gain some tactical advantage on the Clippers' turf. He basically advised Warriors fans to stay away from Staples Center as well.

"As an African-American man that's a fan of the game of basketball and knows its history and knows what's right and what's wrong, I would not come to the game tomorrow, whether I was a Clipper fan or a Warrior fan," he explained.

Jackson is not alone in his method of protest.

Marcio Jose Sanchez

According to's Arash Markazi, the Clippers held a team meeting ahead of Game 4, during which they considered not playing. But sitting out never seemed like a legitimate possibility. Head coach Doc Rivers and his players were strongly opposed to sacrificing part or all of their postseason.

"It was brought up because I'm sure 20,000 people have suggested it but honestly I'm completely against that and they were, too," Rivers admitted, via Markazi.

Instead of boycotting Game 4, the Clippers symbolically placed their shooting shirts at half court and proceeded to wear the rest of their warm-ups inside out.

Fans must take a similar approach. They, like the Clippers, should understand that their team's goals aren't related to the supposed racist views of one man.

Tickets for Game 5 are already bought and paid for. Sterling's wallet won't take a substantial hit if fans fail to show up. Their absence would be more emblematic than it is meaningful.

None of which is to say fans shouldn't boycott Game 5. That is their right. If that's how they wish to take a stand, then so be it.

But more practical and effective measures can also be taken.

The NBA has a press conference scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET, at which point the results of its investigation are expected to be revealed. Per CBS Sports' Ken Berger, it's believed the NBA will come down hard on Sterling:

Before making any drastic decisions, it would behoove fans to wait and see what commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA are planning. If they still see it fit to boycott the Clippers in some way, they can go right ahead.

Even if they don't agree with Sterling's punishment, or lack thereof, other means of protest should be considered. What Sterling allegedly said was reprehensible and inhumane, but it was Sterling who said it. The players didn't do this to themselves. They don't deserve to be punished for the purported ignorance of their owner.

What they need is support. They need their fans to be at Staples Center for Game 5, loud and proud, screaming and cheering, showing the world that the Clippers are bigger and better than their owner has proved to be.