May 13, 2014
Donald Sterling Claims Magic Johnson Not a 'Good Example'
Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball team who was caught on tape making racist comments, believes retired player Earvin “Magic” Johnson is not a “good example” for children. The 80-year-old son of Jewish immigrants made those comments on CNN in response to a question by Anderson Cooper asking if Sterling had apologized to Johnson.
In a conversation recorded by a female friend, Sterling is heard criticizing her for posting photos online of her with African Americans, including Johnson: “Admire him, bring him here, feed him, fuck him, but don’t put [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.” Soon after the audio was released, Johnson and others called for Sterling to be forced to sell the team.
The Huffington Post notes that Sterling told Cooper he had "made a terrible mistake" with those remarks, but then criticized Johnson: "Magic Johnson, what has he done? He's got AIDS." Cooper then clarified that Johnson has HIV, not AIDS. Sterling responds, "What kind of a guy 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. I think he should go into the background. What does he do for the black people?"
Sterling told Cooper he has since spoken twice with Johnson. When Cooper asked if he apologized to Johnson, Sterling said: “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 do 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. That he would go and do what he did, and then get AIDS.”
Adam Silver, the commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA), has responded to the widespread criticism of Sterling by banning him for life from the NBA, fining him $2.5 million and calling on the other NBA team owners to force him to sell the team. The owners have not yet made a decision. It would take 75 percent of them to force a sale. In response to the remarks by Sterling to CNN, Silver issued an apology to Johnson on behalf of the NBA.
On Twitter, Magic Johnson has expressed his desire to move on after this latest round of comments by Sterling:
After publicly disclosing his HIV-positive diagnosis in 1991, Johnson retired from the Los Angeles Lakers after 13 seasons. He won a gold medal in 1992 as part of the U.S. Olympic basketball team (a.k.a. “The Dream Team”). A member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Johnson has had success as an HIV/AIDS advocate, an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. He and his wife Cookie have publicly supported their gay son E.J.
Watch this excerpt of the CNN interview from TMZ:
Magic Johnson was on the cover of the June/July 1996 issue of POZ. Click here to read our cover story.
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comments 1 - 10 (of 10 total)
Slade Hanson, Falls Church, 2014-07-10 16:04:21
Sterling really needs to just fade away. He is ignorant, spiteful and is a disgrace to all of humanity. Maybe he just needs to be put down like the rabid dog he is.
wtf, , 2014-06-16 12:36:25
Sterling is a funny guy..As if he's a good example of a human being. HA!
Frederick Wright-Stafford, Jacksonville, 2014-05-16 12:08:36
I think this is interesting in the minority victims in this conversation of the minority One percent of American Sports Business. I hoping both men work out their demon and glad Magic clarified that he doesn't have AIDS, for that is most fascinating, for I too concern myself an HIV man not a Person with AIDS. I hope both men find healing and hope they give more than One percent of their privage to their foundation. Rick Warren a One Percenter is stated as giving 90 percent of His Wealth away
Bobby, , 2014-05-15 16:19:20
I think that Sterling may be a racist, however he did say something that I have been thinking. Magic has not done enough for the HIV Community, he has access to top doctors, nutritionist, and doctors that normal people with HIV will never be able to have access to. This makes people believe that HIV/AIDS is able to live with, normally. There are many, many new infections in young males in the black, and hispanic community that could benefit from a role model telling them to keep it zipped. More.
Shirl, , 2014-05-15 15:07:34
Sterling's comments show that HIV is still stigmatized by society. There are still people out there who do not had sex with everyone as Sterling suggests who still have gotten HIV. It only takes one sexual encounter to get HIV. And there are other ways of getting HIV. Sterling needs to be educated.
Anonymous, , 2014-05-15 12:46:24
pbcguy, it's just good journalism to identify the racial or ethnic identities of people involved in making racist comments and of the people who are on the receiving end of those comments
R. Mark Desjardins, Vancouver, B.C. Canada, 2014-05-15 12:29:46
I happened to be in Los Angeles for a month at the time of Donald Sterlings ignorant and uninformed statements about Magic Johnson. I was heartened to see that some upscale Restaurants posted large public announcements stating Sterling's patronage was not welcome. Race relations still remain a very touchy issue in Los Angeles, and by adding HIV/A.I.D.S. to the mix, Sterling really stirred the pot. In light of his heritage, he should certainly have much more compassion. Resign at once!
pbcguy, , 2014-05-15 11:50:34
Of what relevance is it to the story that Sterling is the son of Jewish immigrants? While he may be racist and wrong in calling out Magic Johnson's HIV status, the writer of this story is guilty of subtle anti-Semitism.
Peter, Cologne, Germany, 2014-05-13 14:27:52
Damn, this racist is stupid-er and evil-er than I ever thought possible. And to know that this guy owns millions and was stylized as an asset to society is just sickening. Respect to the NBA for dumping him, although everything short of complete dispossession is not being just.
Drew Kawasaki, Boston, 2014-05-13 13:13:59
comments 1 - 10 (of 10 total)
I am very much a humanitarian and at this point Sterling should go!
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