Donald Sterling opens mouth, more racist things fly out

He also accuses Anderson Cooper of being racist and thinks Magic Johnson is a bad person for having HIV

Prachi Gupta
May 13, 2014 6:20PM (UTC)

Donald Sterling dug himself a deeper hole on Monday when CNN aired an absolutely insane interview with the Clippers owner, who spectacularly revealed his racism, ignorance and privilege. Sterling, who has been banned from the NBA for life after racist remarks he made in private became public, apologized for the remarks. He attempted to prove that he is not racist by merely saying "I am not a racist," and then blamed his half-black, half-Latina girlfriend, V. Stiviano, for baiting him into saying racist things.

But when Cooper read aloud the transcript of what Sterling said, verbatim, Sterling fumbled. "I can't explain some of the stupid, foolish, uneducated words that I uttered," he said.


Cooper challenged Sterling further, saying that his remarks demonstrate, as NBA Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor alleged in a wrongful termination lawsuit, that Sterling has a "plantation mentality."

Sterling, a deer in headlights, then served up the “I'm rubber, you're glue" grade-school retort, saying, "I think you have more of plantation mentality than I do. And I think you're more of a racist than I am."

"How so?" asked Cooper.


"Because I'm not a racist, and I've never been a racist and I'll never be a racist."

Sterling also devoted a significant amount of time bashing NBA legend Magic Johnson, who he had referred to on the tape as one of the "black guys" he didn't want his girlfriend hanging out with at Clippers basketball games. Dismissing Johnson as a man who has "those AIDs," (Johnson has HIV, not AIDs) Sterling wondered, "what has he done?" for the community. As CNN points out: quite a lot of amazing things!


"What does he do for the black people?" Sterling asks. He "doesn't do anything!"

Then, of course, things got a little racist:

Jewish people "want to help people," Sterling said. "If you don't have money, we'll loan it to you."

"So are you saying that African-Americans don't contribute to African-American communities as much as Jewish people do?" Cooper asked.


"There's no African-American — never mind," Sterling said, catching himself before something racist slipped out. "I'm sorry."

Later, however, Sterling finished his thought:

"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?"

And there you have it: Donald Sterling opened his mouth, and more racist things flew out of it. This time, Anderson Cooper's whiteness baited him.


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Aids Anderson Cooper Clippers Donald Sterling Hiv Magic Johnson Racism Video

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