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 Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.