LOS ANGELES - It's rare for the NBA Playoffs first round to gain such widespread attention. But when racism is involved, it becomes a new chapter in America's civil rights movement.
Filipino basketball fans showed up at the Staples Center in support of equality, in support of their team, and in support for the National Basketball Association's decision to hand down a lifetime ban on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Sterling was also slapped with a $2.5 million dollar fine and will be forced to sell the team.
"Effective immediately I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility and he may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team," Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, said.
For Filipinos, it was a sigh of relief, after a phone recording of the 80-year-old making racist remarks was released and caused an uproar throughout the country.
"I think it's about time Donald Sterling suffered the consequences because it's been a long time that racism exists here in America," Ardie Guzman of Glendale said.
"I think it was really disturbing and really heartbreaking as a long time fan," Gerry Cabrerra, a Clippers fan, said.
While fans continue to support the players, the hope the team, who had been caught in the controversy, can go back to their winning ways.
The Clippers lost to the Golden State Warriors by 21 points shortly after the controversy began on Sunday.
On Tuesday, the Clippers went on to win bringing them one game closer to the second round of the playoffs.
"Certainly it affects the game of the players, what's happening now so in a way we wish the Clippers good luck," Guzman said.
Shortly before game five of their best of seven playoffs series, the team showed its support of the punishment.
"You know, this last, you know, three or four days have been very difficult for everybody involved. And no matter what the race is, it has been difficult. And i thought Adam Silver today was fantastic. He made a decision that really was the right one, that had to be made," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
Despite Sterling's history of alleged discrimination, the team which has only found success in recent years has held Cultural Nights for its fans, including an annual Filipino heritage night since 2009.