Magic Johnson: Clippers owner Donald Sterling's alleged racist remarks hurt me 8 years ago

Magic Johnson: Clippers owner Donald Sterling's alleged racist remarks hurt me

Basketball legend Magic Johnson has spoken of his disappointment at the alleged racist remarks of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling this weekend.

A recording of a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend was leaked by TMZ, in which the business magnate chastised her for appearing in public with black people and asked her not to be seen with Johnson at Clippers games.

Advertisement

Johnson tweeted that the comments were a ‘black eye for the NBA’ and feels that Sterling should now walk away from the sport.

He told CBS: “I'm very disappointed, angry and upset.

“Let's go back when I first got here in 1979. Dr. Buss took me to my first real party at Donald Sterling's house in Malibu for his annual BBQ. Ever since then, since Dr. Buss introduced me to him at the time he bought the Clippers, we've been out, we've had lunch and even shared meals to talk about his team, so I thought we had a sort of a friendship, even though it may be a distant one.”

Advertisement

Johnson added, “I respect him, I thought he respected me, but when these comments came out, it hurt. It didn't hurt me as much personally as it hurt me for all African Americans.

“If you come to me and say, ‘Hey look I'm a racist or I discriminate against blacks or I don't like you because you're African American, I respect that.

“I can respect you more by doing that, but don't smile in my face, shake my hand and then you don't really respect me or want me to be around or come to your games as the owner of the Clippers.”

Miami Heat star LeBron James - without doubt the highest profile player in the NBA - was equally ferocious in his response.

Advertisement

“If the reports are true, it’s unacceptable,” James said. “It’s unacceptable in our league. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, Hispanic, whatever, all across the races.”

James added, “there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league.”