John Kerry’s Swipe at Disgraced NBA Owner Donald Sterling Gets Big Reaction at Yale Graduation

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry took a poke Sunday at the NBA’s controversy surrounding Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling during a speech at Yale University’s Class Day.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers the Class Day address at Yale University, Sunday, May 18, 2014, in New Haven, Conn. (Image source: AP/Jessica Hill)

Joking about college and pop culture at the start of his speech, Kerry told the Ivy Leaguers: “You are graduating today as the most diverse class in Yale’s long history — or as they call it in the NBA, Donald Sterling’s worst nightmare.”

The comment drew laughs and cheers and applause from the audience. According to a speaker at Class Day, students from 61 countries are graduating from Yale this weekend.

The NBA commissioner has banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million following the release last month of a recording in which the Clippers’ owner makes racist remarks. The commissioner also called on owners to oust Sterling from the league.

Kerry, a 1966 graduate of Yale, spoke at Yale Class Day that year as well, noting then his impending service in the military and the U.S. military presence around the world, the AP noted.

“In 1966, I suggested an excess of isolation has led to an excess of interventionism,” he said, adding that now America’s worldwide presence will not be diminished. “If we can’t galvanize action, we invite instability, and I promise you, radical extremism is all-too-ready to fill the vacuum left behind.”

Kerry’s quip about Sterling comes just after the 39:30 mark in the below video: