Former Clippers GM Drops Racial Discrimination Suit

Baylor throws no-look before trial

Saturday, Mar 5, 2011  |  Updated 11:15 AM PDT
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June 24, 2004: Los Angeles Clippers vice president of basketball operations Elgin Baylor talks about a draft selection.

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The former general manager of the Los Angeles Clippers has dropped allegations of racial discrimination against the team, but is pressing ahead with allegations that he was fired because of age discrimination.

Elgin Baylor, 76, sued the team, owner Donald Sterling, and the NBA in February 2009, claiming he was wrongly fired after 22 years.

Baylor decided to drop the racial discrimination claim element of his case just as jury selection was about to begin. Jury selection was set for Monday, and opening statements were likely on Tuesday.

“The team never felt that the race allegations had any merit at all,” Clippers attorney Robert Platt told the Los Angeles Times on Friday. “It was only a matter of time before Mr. Baylor would voluntarily dismiss them.

“The team feels vindicated, and Donald Sterling's position all along was he never, ever engaged in any action based on race,” Platt told the Times. “This is a confirmation of that.”

Baylor claims age discrimination based in part on a memo written by Clippers President Andy Roeser in which Roeser told Sterling “Elgin is 72 and still not getting any younger.”

According to legal documents, the team offered a severance package of $120,000 to Baylor, who never earned more than $350,000 annually with the Clippers.
 

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