Dodgers' Magic Johnson Responds to Negative Comments - NBC Southern California
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Dodgers' Magic Johnson Responds to Negative Comments

The NBA has launched an investigation into the audio recording



    Dodgers co-owner Earvin “Magic” Johnson has spoken out over derogatory comments allegedly made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling, as reported by the entertainment website TMZ.

    According to an audio recording obtained by the website, Sterling’s girlfriend V. Stiviano is heard telling the man, who TMZ alleges is Sterling, that she posted a picture of herself with “Magic” Johnson on Instagram, to which the man is heard saying of Johnson:

    “I think the fact that you admire him, I’ve known him well and he should be admired, and I’m just saying that it’s too bad that you can’t admire him privately.

    “You can do anything, but don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me, and don’t bring him to my games.”

    Johnson responded via his Twitter account: 

    In an interview with TMZ, Johnson also said, “He has a team full of amazing African-American basketball players that are working to bring a championship to Clippers fans. The Clippers also have a strong minority fan base."

    The Dodgers declined to comment on the situation.

    The NBA has launched an investigation, and Mike Bass, Executive Vice President of Communications, said in a statement: “The remarks heard on the recording are disturbing and offensive, but at this time we have no further information."

    The Clippers also released the following statement:

    "We have heard the tape on TMZ. We do not know if it is legitimate or it has been altered. We do know that the woman on the tape -- who we believe released it to TMZ -- is the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Sterling family alleging that she embezzled more than $1.8 million, who told Mr. Sterling that she would 'get even. 'Mr. Sterling is emphatic that what is reflected on that recording is not consistent with, nor does it reflect his views, beliefs or feelings. It is the antithesis of who he is, what he believes and how he has lived his life. He feels terrible that such sentiments are being attributed to him and apologizes to anyone who might have been hurt by them. He is also upset and apologizes for sentiments attributed to him about Earvin Johnson. He has long considered Magic a friend and has only the utmost respect and admiration for him--both in terms of who he is and what he has achieved. We are investigating this matter."

    The woman, V. Stiviano, is challenging the case.

    Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, speaking to the media today after practice at the University of San Francisco, said the team addressed the situation.

    “As far as the comments, we were not happy with any of them, but we’re going to let everything get handled and that situation will be dealt with later,” Rivers said, according to a report on “Right now, our goals haven’t changed. Our focus is on Golden State and it’s going to stay on Golden State.”

    Sterling is set to receive a lifetime achievement award at the NAACP’s 100th anniversary gala next month in Los Angeles.

    The organization’s national office has urged the local LA chapter to rescind the award, if the allegations against Sterling prove to be true.

    The criticism of the comments has been both swift and sharp: 

    Sunday, the Clippers play Game 5 of their first round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors. LA leads the best of seven series, 2-1.