(WJLA) - In an interview that aired Monday night on CNN, NBA owner Donald Sterling spoke publicly for the first time since being banned for life by the NBA, insisting he was not a racist -- but also making new controversial comments about Magic Johnson.
The Los Angeles Clippers owner was heard making racist comments in secret recordings that were obtained by TMZ and Deadspin last month. In those comments Sterling tells a woman named V. Stiviano not to bring black people to Clippers games.
"When I listen to that tape, I don't know how I can say words like that," Sterling told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "I'm not a racist."
Sterling told Cooper that prior to secretly recording him, Stiviano had told him she planned to bring "four gorgeous black guys" with her to watch the Clippers.
He said he was jealous and responding to her when he made some of the comments.
"It was like she was baiting me just to say things," Sterling said. "Did you ever like a girl, and were you ever jealous of her a little bit if she was with other guys?"
Sterling also insisted he was still loved by many people despite the backlash against him:
"The players don't hate me, the sponsors don't hate me, the fans don't hate me," he said. "It's all the media pushing it."
Sterling and Stiviano discuss Magic Johnson in the secretly recorded comments. In Monday's interview, Sterling bashed the former NBA star, referring to Johnson's 1991 announcement that he was HIV positive.
"What has he done, can you tell me? Big Magic Johnson, what has he done?" he said, going on to exclaim in response to Cooper's assertion that Johnson was a businessman: "He's got AIDS!"
Cooper corrected Sterling and pointed out that Johnson was instead HIV positive, but Sterling made other comments:
"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. What has Magic Johnson really done for children's hospital...what has he done for any group?"
He continues: "What kind of a guy goes to every city and has sex with every girl? Then he 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. But, what does he do for the black people? He doesn't do anything."
Then came reaction from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who said that while Magic Johnson doesn’t need him to, he feels “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.”