Donald Sterling did his first interview since getting banned by the NBA for making racist statements, and it went horribly.
In a lengthy talk with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Sterling implied that Jewish people are more generous than black people, criticised Magic Johnson for contracting HIV, and said Cooper was the real racist.
The most baffling exchange came when Sterling discussed Magic Johnson. On the leaked audio recording that got him banned for life, Sterling told his girlfriend V. Stiviano that she shouldn’t pose for pictures with black people like Johnson.
In the CNN interview, he criticised Johnson further. He said Johnson should be “ashamed of himself” for having HIV:
“What kind of guy goes to every city and has sex with every girl, and then he catches HIV. Is that someone we should respect and tell our kids about? I think he should be ashamed of himself. I think he should go into the background.”
He also questioned whether Johnson had really helped any minorities with his business ventures:
“What does he do for the black people? He doesn’t do anything.”
Finally, he said that Jews give back to their people when they get successful while African-Americans do not:
“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. ”
He also said he wasn’t racist and told Cooper he was the racist:
“I think you have more of a plantation mentality than I do. I think you’re a bigger racist than I am.”
Here’s the transcript of that Magic Johnson exchange:
Sterling: “What has he done? Can you tell me? Big Magic Johnson, what has he done?”
CNN: “Well he’s a business person.”
Sterling: “He’s got AIDS. Did he do any business? Did he help anybody in South L.A.?”
CNN: “I think he has HIV, he doesn’t actually have full-blown AIDS.”
Sterling: “What kind of guy goes to every city and has sex with every girl, and then he catches HIV. Is that someone we should 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? He doesn’t do anything…”
CNN: “He has opened a lot of business in inner-city neighborhoods.”
Sterling: “The Jewish people have a company and it’s for people who wanted to borrow money at no interest. They want to give them a fishing people. We want to help people. If they don’t have the money, we’ll loan it to you. You don’t have interest, one day you’ll pay us back. I’m just telling you, he does nothing. It’s all talk.”
CNN: “So are you saying African-America don’t contribute to African-American communities as much as Jewish people.”
Sterling: There’s no African American… never mind, I’m sorry. They all want to play golf with me. Everybody wants to be with me.”
Sterling: “Has he done everything he can do to help minorities? I don’t think so. I’ll say it. He’s great. I just don’t think he’s a good example for the children of Los Angeles. That he would go and do what he did, and then get AIDS. I mean, come on. Maybe he doesn’t think I would be a good owner. I remember when he came from Detroit, he came to my house. You know he was a great player, great player. I would like to know exactly, what does he do? He works with the Dodgers? Do you know what I do? I spend millions 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.”
Here’s the video of one of the Johnson exchanges:
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