On Monday, embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling gave an interview to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and as you may expect, things didn’t go swimmingly for one of the most hated men in America today.
While the interview was full of “interesting” comments from Sterling, one of the headliners came when he ripped former Los Angeles Lakers great and world-renowned businessman Magic Johnson. Here is what Sterling had to say about Magic.
“He’s got AIDS. Did he do any business? Did he help anybody in South LA?… What kind of a guy goes to every city and has sex with every girl and he catches it, HIV, is that somebody 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? The Jewish people have a company, it’s for people who want to borrow money at no interest. We want to give them a fishing pole. We want to help people. You don’t have any money, we’ll loan it to you, without any interest. One day you’ll pay us back. I’m just telling you he does nothing, he’s all talk.”
In addition, he refers to Magic as “big Magic Johnson” in ripping him once more:
“I think he wanted me to just do nothing so he could buy the team. He thought maybe the whole thing would be resolved in two weeks. What has he done? Can you tell me? Big Magic Johnson, what has he done?
To be honest, this is worst possible thing for Sterling (or anyone) to say in the midst of a racial scandal, especially in Los Angeles. Magic Johnson is one of the more beloved figures in all of sports, he happens to be an African-American, and he lives in Los Angeles, making him one of the most untouchable figures in that part of the world. Obviously, Sterling’s comments are out of bounds (this is nothing new), and his lack of self-awareness is criminally ridiculous.
At a different point in the interview, Sterling tried to apologize for his well-publicized racist comments:
“I’m not a racist. I made a terrible, terrible mistake and I’m here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I’ve hurt. And I’ve hurt so many people, so many innocent people. And I’ve hurt myself. I spoke to a girl I was fond of and I don’t know why, when I listened to that tape, I don’t even know how I could say words like that. I’m not a racist. I love people. I always have. But those words came out of my mouth, I guess, and I’m so sorry, and I’m so apologetic.”
Donald Sterling, and this entire situation, is a mess, and things seem to be just getting started.