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But Sterling had plenty more say to say than just “I’m sorry” in the bizarre interview, including slamming Magic Johnson and claiming that the Clippers players want him to retain ownership of the team.
Along with being fined $2.5 million by commissioner Adam Silver, Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA, and the league’s team owners will soon vote on whether the 80-year-old will be allowed to keep the team.
Here are some of Sterling’s more memorable quotes from the interview that aired on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, including his claims of why Johnson isn’t a role model and how Jews tend to be more charitable than blacks:
“What has he done, can you tell me? Big Magic Johnson — what has he done?… He’s got AIDS. Did he do any business…did he help anybody in South L.A.?
“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.”
(This prompted Cooper to point out that Johnson has done many great works for the community.)
“Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don’t think so…I just don’t think he is a good example for the children of Los Angeles, that he would go and do what he did and then get AIDS.
“I spend millions on giving away and helping minorities. Does he do that? That’s one problem I have: Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people. And some of the African Americans — maybe I’ll get in trouble again — they don’t want to help anybody. What has Magic Johnson really done for Children’s Hospital?… What has he done for any hospital? What has he done for any group?
“I think you have more of a plantation mentality than I do, and I think you’re more of a racist than I am,” Sterling said to Cooper, after he mentioned that Clippers exec Elgin Baylor had said Sterling has a “plantation mentality”
“The players don’t hate me, the sponsors don’t hate me, the fans don’t hate me — it’s all the media pushing it…. People call me by the thousands and have given me support.
“We may work for an employer we don’t love. I contend that [the Clippers players] love me…. They know I’m not a racist — and I’m not a racist.”
Following the strange sit-down with Cooper, Commissioner Silver responded to Sterling’s comments:
“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,” he said in a statement. “The NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible.”
Johnson will appear on Cooper’s show on Tuesday to discuss his reaction to the attack.
Watch parts of Cooper’s interview with Sterling below.
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