CarMax and State Farm are distancing themselves from the Los Angeles Clippers in
response to racist remarks allegedly made by team owner Donald Sterling. In a statement
provided to The Huffington Post, Carmax, a used car chain, confirmed it would cut ties
with the team, ending a nine-year partnership. Insurance giant State Farm wrote in an
email to CNBC that it would "pause" its relationship with the Clippers while the facts
are sorted out. It's unclear exactly what that means, but State Farm did say it would continue
its relationship with Clippers star Chris Paul. "CarMax finds the statements attributed to the
Clippers' owner completely unacceptable. These views directly conflict with CarMax's culture
of respect for all individuals," a CarMax spokeswoman wrote in an email to HuffPost.
"While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for 9 years and support the team, fans
and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship."
The company's decision comes just hours after Steve Stoute, the CEO of marketing firm
Transition, which represents State Farm, told ESPN radio that the insurance giant will be
pulling its sponsorship as well. "What I'm going to do and what I think is important from
my side is I'm telling the brands immediately 'let's pull sponsorship' starting with State
Farm," Stoute said. "When you have things like this taking place, somebody has to stand up."
When directly asked by ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd whether State Farm would be pulling
its sponsorship, Stoute said yes and said he expects other brands to pull out in the next 48
hours. State Farm hasn't responded to multiple requests for comment asking about the
company's status with the Clippers. In a statement released to CNBC, State Farm said that
the company will "pause" its relationship with the Clippers while "those involved sort out
the facts." The company still plans to work with Paul.
Source: Huff Post