Donald Sterling Lashes Out At Magic Johnson, Cites HIV Status, Calls Him A Bad Example In CNN Interview; NBA Calls Sterling's Remarks ‘Malicious’

 @suman09
on May 13 2014 1:36 AM
  • Donald Sterling
    Donald Sterling insists he is not a racist. Reuters
  • Magic Johnson
    Former NBA basketball star Magic Johnson attends U.S. President Barack Obama's unveiling the "My Brother's Keeper" initiative at the White House in Washington Feb. 27, 2014. The program aims to improve opportunities for boys from minority groups. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
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Donald Sterling, the now-banned owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, lashed out at Earvin "Magic" Johnson during a CNN interview broadcast Monday night, pointing to the retired NBA player’s HIV-positive diagnosis and calling him a bad example for children.

Sterling’s comments followed an apology for racist remarks he was found to have made last month after an audio clip was made public, prompting the NBA to ban him for life. In the clip, Sterling told his friend V. Stiviano not to associate with black people after she had posted online pictures of her posing with African-Americans, including basketball Hall of Famer Johnson. He told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in his first public comments after being banned, that he was baited and made a terrible mistake but he was not a racist.

However, when the subject turned to Johnson, Sterling switched gears and slammed the player for his HIV status. "He's got AIDS!" Sterling reportedly said, adding: “What has he done, big Magic Johnson, what has he done?"

"He acts so holy," Sterling said of Johnson. "He made love to 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 hope he could live and be well. I didn't criticize him. I could have. Is he an example for children?"

Cooper reportedly corrected Sterling, explaining that Johnson was HIV-positive but did not have “full-blown AIDS,” prompting Sterling to respond by saying: “What kind of a 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?" "I think he should be ashamed of himself."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement after Sterling’s interview aired, in which he said: “I just read a transcript of Donald Sterling's interview with Anderson Cooper and 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,” Silver added, in the statement.

Johnson, who reportedly is scheduled to appear on Cooper's show on Tuesday, wrote on his Twitter account: 

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