Disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling denied he was a racist but otherwise did himself no favors in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper Monday night.
In his first television interview since the release of a controversial audio recording put his ownership of the team in jeopardy, the 80-year-old Sterling repeatedly denied accusations he was racist while attacking former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson. Sterling said Johnson called him after the recording became public, urging him to stay quiet until it blew over. Johnson is rumored to be interested in purchasing the Clippers should the NBA force Sterling to sell. From the CNN interview:
"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. I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? He doesn't do anything."
Johnson has been an unwilling participant in the Sterling news from the start after Sterling’s girlfriend, V. Stiviano, discussed the ex-Laker in the now infamous audio recording.
“Admire him, bring him here, feed him, [expletive] him, but don’t put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me,” Sterling said.
Johnson took to Twitter to respond to Sterling’s CNN comments Monday night.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver also defended Johnson in a statement:
"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."