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Magic Johnson says he plans to pray for Donald Sterling

Magic Johnson

(CNN) — NBA legend Magic Johnson said Tuesday he is going to pray for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who slammed him in an interview with CNN a day earlier for not doing enough for minorities.

“My whole life is devoted to urban America. So, you know I just wish he knew the facts when he’s talking,” Johnson told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “But he’s a man who’s upset and he’s reaching. He’s reaching. He’s trying to find something that he can grab on to help him save his team. And it’s not going to happen. … I’m a God-fearing man and I’m going to pray for him and hope things work out for him.”

Sterling went on the offensive in his interview with Cooper when Johnson’s name came up, blaming the basketball Hall of Famer for his delay in apologizing for the racist remarks that got him banned from the league.

He slammed the legendary Los Angeles Lakers point guard’s character and his battle with HIV, saying Johnson hasn’t done anything to help others.

“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 said in the interview that aired Monday night. “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, who led the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships, has been a central figure in the controversy since the recording of Sterling speaking with friend V. Stiviano surfaced last month on TMZ.

In the recording, which drew widespread condemnation from fans, players and the league, Sterling chastises Stiviano for posting pictures online of her posing with African-Americans, including Johnson. He tells her not to bring Johnson to Clippers games.

“Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don’t put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me,” he said.

As criticism over the recording spread, Johnson was among the first to say that Sterling should sell the team.

Now Sterling says that he waited so long to apologize about the recording because Johnson, who led the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships, called him and told him to remain silent.

“I think he wanted me to just do nothing so he could buy the team,” Sterling said.

Johnson hasn’t indicated whether he would pursue a Clippers ownership position.

During his interview with Cooper, Sterling repeatedly apologized and denied accusations that he’s racist, claiming he’d been “baited” into making what he called “terrible” remarks.

But his comments about Johnson drew immediate backlash on social media and prompted many to question Sterling’s sincerity.

“That doesn’t sound like much of an apology to me,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said in a conference call.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver apologized to Johnson on behalf of the league 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,” Silver said. “The NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible.”

Johnson’s 1991 revelation that he was HIV-positive shocked the sports world. The athlete has drawn accolades for his openness about the illness and his push to help fight it. He’s the founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation, which has raised millions for HIV/AIDS awareness.

It also provides funds for testing and treatment as well as scholarships and mentoring for minority students.

As chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Johnson has invested extensively, with the company describing its mission on its website as being “a catalyst for and fostering community/economic empowerment” in “ethnically diverse urban communities.”

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

7 comments

  • buzz

    HIV awareness? realy? while the black community rots since they become dependant on welfare to survive instead of making themselves self sustaining on there own ways ? Getting jobs and being proud of who they are, what they own they would rather be dependant on hand outs from people like him whichhe cant even mention? Handouts from the goverment? Yea, though so. Hes afraud just like Obama Enpowerment. A b sword that mean nothing.

  • airjackie

    Magic is learning people don’t always show their true feelings but smile and call you friend. Donald was so excited meeting Rookie Laker Magic in 1980 and for 34 years called him friend. People love say blacks depend on Welfare but facts get in the way as 80% white are on welfare and other federal programs. I loved listening to Rep. Ryan talk about the lazy blacks in the inner city on Federal programs. Ryan at 16 lost his Dad and the family lived off of Social Security and Federal programs even using Federal program for Rep. Ryan to go to college. West Virginia has 90% of citizens on Federal programs. Donald born to immigrants in 1930 knew the discrimination against Jewish people. Donald changed his name in 1950 to fit in with elite whites. Fear is Donald will expose other racist NBA owners. I worked as a welfare caseworker and saw who needed help and what race they were. Well I am not racist so it really only wanted to help people. But at lease the racist are speaking out and not hiding behind a hood.

    • B Addy

      80% Of whites are on welfare?? No , more white are on welfare than blacks , because of more numbers of whites. By % ‘s it is not close, blacks lead the way by a long shot over everyone. It is rediculous it has come to the point that the man is losing his team over this. p ut the microphone in the locker room and what would you hear? I hope Sterling sues the hell out of everyone involved. His only mistake was hanging out with that ugly plastic whore. Sound like she has a rap sheet three pages long as well.

  • Carolyn

    I work in health care & it’s as much white people on public assistance than whites. Black people are use to the struggle. When white people hit hard times they want to commit murder/suicides because they can’t handle the stuggle & that’s a fact.

    • buzz

      Carolyn. I worked in a hospital outside phila for many years . After I resigned as a cna after 15 years I decided to work and vol as a emt. . I worked for a nationaly know transport co in Phila . I worked every corner, every area of the city and the surrounding counties, south jersey, De , long distance transport ect for another 14 years before my back was literaly destroyed for the rest of my life. I also vol as a emt in my free time for a squad in Bucks Co Pa. I have seen and done more than many people would have the guts to ever do in a lifetime. I have been in every bad area of Phila thatnobody would ever have the guts to walk into at night. When it comes to welfare abuse I hate to tell you its mostly blacks that are on it in my experience. . When I had to go apply for ma At my local office I was the only white person in it. This was prior to disability. Again This is my experience only. Your may be differnt. Mine has been that almost everyone I have run into is black , on welfare Except the russians in n e phila whoimmigarted over here 20 , 30 years ago and are still living off the u s goverment. Them I have no respect for and hate them scum bags! They have yet to learn one lick of english. They all know where the post office and bus stopr are and whne the checks get deposited. thast it!

  • SicSemper

    All this from a guy who led an extremely immoral lifestyle, possibly spreading the HIV to Lord knows how many people, and through transmission maybe hundreds after that.

  • Glen Allen

    I wish the media would stop giving Donald Sterling so much attention, I think the whole world feels sorry for the guy. Sooo much money, and yet sooo ignorant.

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