Donald Sterling's AC360 Interview Went Worse Than You Thought It Could

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In a rambling and terribly-advised interview with Anderson Cooper aired tonight on CNN, Clippers owner Donald Sterling attempted (and failed) to explain himself, inadvertently bringing up Cooper's sexuality along the way—while slamming Magic Johnson and other rich African-Americans for being stingy with their charity.

Sterling attempted to draw sympathy early with a story about his granddaughter.

My little grandchild goes to a Catholic nursery and they were passing around candy to everybody. When they got to her they said we don't give candy to racists. So it hurts me.


He continued to assert that he had been set up by V. Stiviano, denying her claims that Sterling had asked her to make the recording and that the argument was about jealousy, not race:

One of the things that I said was "don't bring blacks to my game." 25% of the people at my games is black. She would always use the black word. That's a black girl.

So when she said I'll bring four gorgeous black guys to the game, players, I was a little jealous, maybe.


Sterling used that construction ("gorgeous black guys") multiple times, which should remind you of something.


Sterling continued about the jealousy angle, asking if the openly-gay Anderson Cooper had ever been in his position:

Did you ever like a girl, were you ever jealous of her a little bit if she was with other guys? It's not that I didn't want her to be photographed.

(You were jealous?)

I admit, I was jealous.

Whoops! (Nobody tell him.) Sterling then asserted Cooper was the real racist.

I think you have more of a plantation mentality than I do. And I think you're more of a racist than I am. Because I'm not a racist, & I've never been a racist.


On Magic Johnson, who he claims called him after the original audio release:

Here is a man.. he acts so holy. He made love to every girl in every girl in America in every city and he had AIDS. When he had those AIDS, I went to my synagogue and I prayed for him.

What has Magic Johnson done? He's got AIDS. Did he do any business? Did he help anybody in south L.A.? I think he should be ashamed of himself. What does he do for the black people? I'm telling you he does nothing. It's all talk.

I spent millions on 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. What has Magic Johnson really done for Children's Hospital which kids are lying in the hallways. They are sick. They need a bed. What has he done for any hospital? What has he done for any group?


Magic Johnson has HIV. He does not have AIDS. As for what Magic Johnson has done? Much more than Donald Sterling in 2012, the last year for which data is available.


The program concluded with a weepy Sterling confessing he really didn't understand women.

This girl, 100 other men could look at her and they wouldn't even think she was pretty. But she was something special. And the point I'm making is she was a woman who really never asked for anything.

It's like a woman stabbing you in the chest or shooting you. And sometimes women say I love him and kill him.



Update (11:11 p.m.): NBA commissioner Adam Silver has responded.

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. The NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible.