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Magic Johnson: Donald Sterling is 'living in the stone ages'

Magic Johnson responded to Donald Sterling's latest comments, saying Sterling is 'living in the stone ages.' (CNN)
May 13, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Magic Johnson is speaking out after Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling spent little time apologizing for racist remarks and a lot of time lashing out at him during an interview.

Sterling's interview with CNN's Anderson Copper was supposed to be an attempt at repairing his image, but instead he's now facing fresh rebukes. In his first on-camera interview since the release of an inflammatory recording that got him banned from the NBA, Sterling repeatedly disparaged Johnson's HIV-positive status, saying he is not a fit role model for children.

"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.

Johnson, who appeared on Cooper's show on Tuesday, says Sterling has badly outdated views in his attitudes about minorities and is shockingly ignorant in his views on HIV and AIDS for such a prominent public figure.

"He's living in the stone ages," Johnson said.

Johnson says Sterling is trying to deflect the scrutiny he's receiving.

"He's trying to find something that he can grab on to help him save his team," Johnson said. "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."

In the CNN interview, Sterling criticized Johnson's character, among other things.

"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," Sterling said.

Vallerie Wagner, the chief operating officer of AIDS Project Los Angeles, says Johnson has been a role model to many.

"Mr. Johnson has done tremendous work since finding out his HIV status in promoting awareness about HIV/AIDS -- the way that it's transmitted and what you can do to engage in safer sex practices," said Wagner. "HIV stigma still exists. There are people that are just not as informed as they could be."

AIDS Project L.A. says it has received money from the Sterling Foundation in the past. The board of directors on Tuesday decided to return all of the money the organization has received from Sterling's foundation and it is canceling a current pledge.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says he'll ask the league's other owners to force Sterling to sell his team. But Sterling says he'll fight to keep the Clippers.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday said it's time for Sterling to go.

"I stand firm with the NBA that this team must change hands. We'll do whatever we can to rally the city behind making sure the Clippers return to the values that reflect the city. I, as mayor, certainly want to see a team that bears Los Angeles on its jersey feel like Los Angeles. And while he's owner, it certainly doesn't," said Garcetti.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.