Skip to main content

Simmons reacts to racism row

Gene Simmons says he's "on side" with those who make racist comments in private.

The Kiss star – who recently stated poor people owed a debt of gratitude to millionaires – has spoken after being asked about basketball boss Don Sterling, was fined $2.5million and ordered to sell his team after making bigoted remarks in private, which were recorded and subsequently broadcast.

And although Simmons calls Sterling “heinous”, he says people should be able to say what they think without suffering the consequences – as long as it’s behind closed doors. And he has sympathy for others who have been in Sterling’s position.

He tells the Wall Street Journal : “I’m on the side of Don Sterling. I’m on Mel Gibson’s side, Don Sterling’s side and anybody who has a racist or an expletive rant privately.

“The difference between this guy and anybody else is that he was caught. He was ambushed. I think he should have done penance and paid a fine.

“If because you say and off-colour joke or make a racist rant privately that causes you to lose a job, nobody would have a job. Black people do it, Jews do it, Christians do it – everybody does it. I’m on the side of free speech in the privacy of your own home. Big brother has finally crawled in bed with us.”

Meanwhile, Simmons says Kiss are determined to record another album, once they find the time to do so. He explains: “We have a restaurant chain opening all over the world, we’ve got the football team, we’ve got the Kiss golf course, the Kiss limo service and Kiss World is around the corner – although I don’t want to tell you what that is yet.”

The band are currently on tour in the US with Def Leppard.

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.