NBA Commish Apologizes to Magic Johnson After New Sterling Slam

"What has he done? Can you tell me? Big Magic Johnson, what has he done?" Donald Sterling said in an interview

By Willian Avila
|  Tuesday, May 13, 2014  |  Updated 7:51 AM EDT
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Clippers fans react to Donald Sterling's remarks that Magic Johnson is not a good role model. Beverly White reports live for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Monday, May 12, 2014.

Clippers fans react to Donald Sterling's remarks that Magic Johnson is not a good role model. Beverly White reports live for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Monday, May 12, 2014.

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Donald Sterling said in a televised interview Monday that Magic Johnson is not a good role model for children and has done nothing for black people, even as the embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner asked for forgiveness after being banned from the NBA.

Making his first public comments since TMZ Sports released an audio recording in which the 80-year-old billionaire made racist remarks, Sterling told CNN's Anderson Cooper that Johnson, who is HIV-positive, "should be ashamed of himself."

"Well, 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?" Sterling asked. "I think he should go into the background. But what does he do for the black people? He doesn't do anything."

Sterling also blamed Johnson for his delayed apology, saying he held off because the legendary NBA player told him to remain silent.

"He thought the whole thing will be resolved in two weeks," Sterling said, according to the CNN report. "What has he done? Can you tell me? Big Magic Johnson, what has he done?"

Sterling said he respects and admires Johnson, and that the Hall of Famer's role in the scandal is "irrelevant."

"I'd rather be talking about these great NBA Playoffs than Donald Sterling's interview," Johnson tweeted Monday night.

"After this week, no more Sterling talk. Just the NBA Playoffs, my @Dodgers and my @LA_Sparks!" he added.

In response to the interview, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement reiterating that the league was moving swiftly to remove Sterling as owner of the Clippers.

"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," Silver's statement said in part.

On the recording, which has not been authenticated by NBC News, Sterling can be heard criticizing girlfriend V. Stiviano for posting online about bringing black friends to Clippers games. He is also heard chastising her for posting a photo on Instagram with Johnson.

Reacting to the recording, Johnson said Sterling's comments about black people were damaging to the NBA.

"I'm disappointed, I'm hurt, I'm outraged, I'm everything," Johnson said. "First, my name being associated, he singled me out personally. Then he singled out African-Americans. Again, I'm always gonna fight for myself as well as my people."

Silver banned Sterling, fined him $2.5 million and urged owners to force him to sell the team.

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