32412 675 60 LINKEDIN 185 COMMENTMORE

Editor's note: This copy has been revised to clarify that Anheuser-Busch does not sponsor the Los Angeles Clippers.

LOS ANGELES – Sponsors are pulling a fast break away from the Los Angeles Clippers and their embattled owner, Donald Sterling.

As the condemnation of Sterling and his racially insensitive comments spread Monday, major financial supporters of the NBA franchise announced they were severing ties with the Clippers.

In rapid succession, the mass exodus included used car seller CarMax, State Farm Insurance, Kia Motors America, airline Virgin America, P. Diddy's water brand, AQUAHydrate, Red Bull, Yokohama tires and Mercedes-Benz.

As AQUAHydrate said in a statement:

"In the wake of Donald Sterling's alleged defamatory and intolerable comments we have decided to suspend our sponsorship with the L.A. Clippers until the NBA completes its investigation. We fully support the players and fans of the L.A. Clippers and wish them the best in the remainder of the playoffs."

Staples Center, home to the Clippers, issued its own statement Monday:

"We are deeply troubled by these disturbing remarks which go against everything we believe in as an organization. We support the players, the coaches, the rest of the team and their fans and we are committed to providing a safe, secure and welcoming environment for everyone" at Tuesday's Game 5 of the Clippers' first-round playoff series against the visiting Golden State Warriors. The series is tied at 2-2.

Club finances aren't made public, so it is not known how much money the loss of sponsorships has cost the Clippers, or the NBA.

Clubs contribute an equal percentage of their revenue into the revenue-sharing system, and receive 1/30th back. Meaning, a club with low revenues will receive a greater amount than it puts in, and clubs with high revenues will pay in more than they receive.

Nonetheless, the Clippers are taking a hit.

VIDEO: NBA'S reputation being tarnished by Sterling fallout

USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour weighs in on the controversy surrounding Donald Sterling. USA TODAY Sports

Michael Gordon, principal and chief executive officer at Group Gordon, a corporate and crisis PR firm in New York, was pretty definite about the future for the Clippers with Sterling as owner.

"For Sterling himself, it's over. There's no crisis management in the world that will fix this, so he has to go," Gordon told USA TODAY Sports. "Not until he goes can both the Clippers and the NBA fix this.

"Of all the parties involved – Sterling, the Clippers and the NBA – the one primarily in crisis management right now is the NBA. They're the ones that need to move quickly to get rid of Sterling and get in a more responsible, thoughtful owner. As soon as that happens, assuming it's the right owner, everyone can begin to heal."

Until then, corporate sponsors are doing damage control. Amtrak and Corona beer have not totally cut ties but made it clear what direction they expect the NBA to go:

*An Amtrak spokesperson told USA TODAY Sports the company is working to remove any remnants of a sponsorship agreement it had with the Clippers that expired at the end of the regular season.

"Amtrak believes the language used is unacceptable and is inconsistent with our corporate belief to treat everyone with integrity and dignity," the company said in a statement. "As with any sponsorship advertising, some assets remain in market – to that end we are diligently working to remove all sponsorship assets.

"Moving forward, we will continue to monitor the situation as we look to make decisions about 2014-15 sports marketing sponsorships."

*Anheuser-Busch released this statement:

"As the official beer of the NBA, we are disappointed to hear the alleged recent comments attributed to L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. While Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light are not team sponsors of the L.A. Clippers, we fully support the NBA's efforts to investigate quickly and trust that they will take appropriate action."

*Constellation Brands, parent company to Corona, emailed this statement to USA TODAY Sports:

"Like everyone else, Corona is appalled by the comments allegedly made by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. These comments run counter to the type of brand Corona aspires to be. Because of this, we are suspending our sponsorship agreement with the Clippers until the NBA completes its investigation."

MORE: NBA to hold news conference Tuesday on Sterling

Red Bull is pulling its Clippers support, while still sponsoring Griffin.

"We trust and respect the NBA's process to formally investigate the matter, and in the interim, are suspending all team-related marketing activities," the company said in a statement supplied to USA TODAY Sports. "We will continue to support our Red Bull athlete, Blake Griffin, his teammates and coaching staff in their pursuit of an NBA title."

In a statement by Yokohama marketing director Andrew Briggs: "Yokohama Tire Corporation does not tolerate discrimination in any fashion. The alleged remarks by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling are completely unacceptable and we find it necessary to immediately suspend our sponsorship of the organization as a result. We will continue to assess the situation and weigh our options. Meanwhile, we wish to express our continued support to the Clippers players and fans."

Mercedes-Benz, in an email to USA TODAY Sports, said: "We're obviously concerned about the alleged comments attributed to the Clippers' owner. We find these comments to be deplorable and completely against the values we promote as an organization. Our dealer group shares our concern and has moved to cease its sponsorship of the Clippers effective immediately, despite their affinity for the Clippers and their fans."

But Mercedes-Benz and Kia are among companies that still showed up on the Clippers' official website, with advertising, promotions or support. Others include Ford, Miller Lite, Commerce Casino, Chumash Casino Resort and Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

WATCH: Sterling's racist comments not new in sports world

You can add Donald Sterling to a list of sports world figures whose insensitive and racist comments put their jobs in jeopardy. (USA TODAY, USA NOW)

"CarMax finds the statements attributed to the Clippers owner completely unacceptable," a company statement said. "These views 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."

State Farm also pulled its Clippers' sponsorship, although the company said it will continue its popular ad series featuring Clippers point guard Chris Paul and his fictitious nerdy brother, Cliff Paul.

"The remarks attributed to the Clippers owner are offensive," State Farm said in a statement. "While those involved sort out the facts, we will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization. We are monitoring the situation and we'll continually assess our options. We have a great relationship with Chris Paul and will continue the Born to Assist advertising campaign involving Chris and now other NBA players."

MORE: NAACP exec gives explanation for award to Sterling

Kia Motors America, which has worked with Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin on a series of ads, released this statement: "The comments allegedly made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling are offensive and reprehensible, and they are inconsistent with our views and values. We are suspending our advertising and sponsorship activities with the Clippers. Meanwhile, as fans of the game of basketball, our support of the players and the sport is unwavering."

A Virgin America spokesperson said, "While we continue to support the fans and the players, Virgin America has made the decision to end its sponsorship of the L.A. Clippers."

Contributing: Nancy Armour, Jeff Zillgitt

PHOTOS: Donald Sterling through the years

Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
32412 675 60 LINKEDIN 185 COMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1m1vkYt