NBJC Responds to CNN’s Donald Sterling Interview
Washington, DC – Yesterday, Donald Sterling, the embattled owner of the LA Clippers, sat down for an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper to attempt damage control after a recording of racist rants by him were leaked to the media two weeks ago. In the interview with CNN, Sterling went back and forth, sporadic at times, denying that he is a racist. But the most egregious part of the interview came when Sterling blasted NBA Hall of Famer and businessman, Earvin “Magic” Johnson. He went on to say that Johnson is not a good example for children because he is HIV positive. The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading Black LGBT civil rights organization, strongly condemns the hate-fueled and offensive speech of Donald Sterling.
“Donald Sterling’s remarks towards Magic Johnson have insulted and hurt so many, not only in the Black community, but all people of sound mind and goodwill,” says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC’s Executive Director and CEO. “He is clearly unaware of the vast philanthropic efforts that Magic Johnson has directly provided to Black America and his characterization of him being a bad role model for our children because of his HIV status is simply ill-informed and dangerous.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among gay and bisexual men, Black gay and bisexual men are most affected by HIV. Research shows that stigma puts gay and bisexual men of all races at risk and may affect whether they seek and are able to receive health services, including HIV testing, treatment, and other prevention services.
“Statements like Sterling’s fuel stigma around HIV and have very real consequences, preventing us from achieving an AIDS-free generation,” adds Lettman-Hicks. “His words are a direct attack on our community and NBJC calls for his immediate removal as owner of the LA Clippers. We shouldn’t be confronted with such ignorance in such a powerful position. He has made the case for his own departure.”