Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling did not seem to do himself any favors during an interview on CNN with Anderson Cooper that aired Monday, deriding NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and claiming his ex-girlfriend goaded him into his racial comments.
Sterling, 80, told CNN's Cooper that he was "baited"
in his first interview since he was banned for life from the NBA by commissioner Adam Silver for racist comments he made to ex-girlfriend V. Stiviano.
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"When I listen to that tape, I don't even know how I can say words like that. ... I don't know why the girl had me say those things," Sterling said to Cooper.
When Cooper asked, "You're saying you were set up?" Sterling continued. "Well yes, I was baited. I mean, that's not the way I talk. I don't talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things. I don't talk about people."
Sterling was particularly critical of Johnson. Sterling was heard on the original recording complaining to Stiviano about her taking a photo with the basketball star and posting it on Instagram.
"What has he done? Can you tell me? Big Magic Johnson, what has he done? He's got AIDS," Sterling told Cooper. "Did he do any business? Did he help anybody in South L.A.? What kind of guy goes to every city, has sex with every girl, then he goes and 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. And what does he do for black people? He hasn't done anything," Sterling continued.
Johnson tried to stay above the fray, commenting once on Twitter about Sterling's comments.
CNN announced Tuesday that Johnson will be interviewed by Cooper to give him an opportunity to respond to Sterling's claims.
Silver issued a statement after Sterling's comments about Johnson, apologizing for the owner's words.
"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 in the statement, according to Sports Illustrated
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