In a phone call to TMZ Live, Magic Johnson corrected inflammatory statements censured Clippers owner Donald Sterling made about him in a Monday night CNN interview.
Beginning with the clarification that he has lived with “HIV for 22 years,” — and not AIDS — he told host Harvey Levin, “I am a proud black man. I’m one of the leaders in the black community and I take that role seriously.”
While Sterling may consider him an unworthy role model, Johnson noted, “I’ve sent 10,000 minorities to college. I’ve got 150 of those students on scholarship right now,” through his eponymous foundation.
He also said he’s invested “over $1 billion in urban America.”
Sterling’s jibes probably stemmed from Johnson declining to accept Sterling’s invitation to appear on Barbara Walters with him “and save his reputation,” said the ex-Laker, who said “we gotta pray for the man.”
Johnson said he told Sterling to apologize to “all minorities out there ‘cuz you haven’t apologized yet.”
Johnson also made clear he had no relationship with Sterling’s mistress, V. Stiviano, who shared a recording of Sterling making racist remarks.
“I don’t know that young lady. I took a picture and all of a sudden I’m in the middle of this mess,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s added a nugget of advice for the Clippers owner: “Don’t do no more interviews!”