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Donald Sterling Attacks Magic Johnson in Anderson Cooper Interview

Disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling criticized Los Angeles Lakers great Earvin "Magic" Johnson on Anderson Cooper 360 on May 12.

May 13 2014, 12:39am CDT | by

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Donald Sterling Attacks Magic Johnson in Anderson Cooper Interview
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Donald Sterling Attacks Magic Johnson in Anderson Cooper Interview

Donald Sterling Attacks Magic Johnson in Anderson Cooper Interview
Photo credit: Getty Images

Donald Sterling criticized Earvin "Magic" Johnson on Anderson Cooper 360 on May 12. 

CNN's Catherine E. Sholchet and Steve Almasy documented the more controversial parts of the sit-down interview with Sterling: 

"Why did Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling take so long to say he's sorry for the racist remarks that got him banned from the NBA?

"Magic Johnson, he claims, told him to stay quiet.

"'Wait, be patient, I'll help you, we'll work it out,' Sterling said the NBA legend told him. 

"In an exclusive interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Sterling spoke publicly for the first time since a controversial audio recording of him sparked a firestorm and put his ownership of the Clippers in jeopardy. 

"He repeatedly apologized and denied accusations that he's racist, claiming he'd been 'baited' into making what he called 'terrible' remarks. But while he defended himself for much of the interview, he went on the offensive when Johnson's name came up. 

"Sterling, 80, slammed the former Los Angeles Lakers player's character and his battle with HIV, saying Johnson hasn't done anything to help others. 

"'What kind of guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he catches HIV? Is that someone we want to respect and tell our kids about?' Sterling asked. 

"'I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? He doesn't do anything.'" 

Sterling went on to say Johnson is not a great example for the youth of Los Angeles, per SI.com's Ben Golliver: 

"Here's a man I don't know if I should say this, he acts so holy. He made love with every girl in every city in America, and he had AIDS, and when he had those AIDS, I went to my synagogue and I prayed for him. 

"I hoped he could live and be well. I didn't criticize him. I could have. Is he an example for children? You know, because he has money, he's able to treat himself. 

"But Magic Johnson is irrelevant in this thing. He didn't do anything harmful to anybody and I respect him and I admire everything that he does. I'd like to help even more if he would offer me an opportunity to help. I like to help minorities. 

"If I said anything wrong, I'm sorry. He's a good person. I mean, what am I going to say? Has he done everything he can to help minorities? I don't think so. But I'll say it, he's great. But I don't think he's a good example for the children of Los Angeles." 

The disgraced Clippers owner, whose racist remarks several weeks ago sparked a nationwide controversy, insisted to Cooper (via ESPN) he's not a racist and apologized for the mistake he made. 

"I'm a good member who made a mistake. Am I entitled to one mistake, am I after 35 years? I mean, I love my league, I love my partners. Am I entitled to one mistake? It's a terrible mistake, and I'll never do it again." 

For his part, Johnson took to Twitter to weigh in on Sterling's comments. 

"I'd rather be talking about these great NBA Playoffs than Donald Sterling's interview.

"After this week, no more Sterling talk. Just the NBA Playoffs, my @Dodgers and my @LA_Sparks!" 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued an apology to Johnson via a statement in Sholchet and Almasy's report, labeling Sterling's attack as "malicious" and "personal." 

"While Magic Johnson doesn't need me to, I feel compelled on behalf of the NBA family to apologize to him that he continues to be dragged into this situation and be degraded by such a malicious and personal attack. 

"The NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible." 

Renowned film director Spike Lee told Cooper that Sterling's coments about Johnson were uncalled for, per the same update. 

"This attack on Magic is crazy. He's messing with the wrong brother. Magic is loved by everybody around the world. And the talk about some other stuff that has nothing to do with nothing is ridiculous." 

Sterling's wife, Shelly, told ABC News' Barbara Walters on May 11 she will do whatever it takes to keep her 50 percent ownership stake of the Clippers. 

"I will fight that decision. To be honest with you, I'm wondering if a wife of one of the owners, and there's 30 owners, did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband? Or would they leave the husband in?

"I don't know why I should be punished for what his actions were." 

For more of the hottest sports news, log on to Sport Balla today. 

 

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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

 

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