May 14, 2014
|[ap wide world photos]|
Donald Sterling’s interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday night was a study in damage control gone wrong, according to The Washington Post. The billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers began by apologizing and asking forgiveness for racist remarks that he had made in private but were recorded — slurs that resulted in the NBA banning him. But Sterling’s attempt at image repair soon worsened the morass, as he made insensitive remarks about African Americans’ philanthropy and criticized basketball icon Magic Johnson.
In response, Johnson, along with Clippers Coach Doc Rivers and the team’s interim CEO Dick Parsons, were “models of restraint,” the Post wrote, which is “exactly what’s needed when a crisis has the potential to distract both players and fans.”
Rivers defended Johnson and said Sterling’s comments didn’t sound like much of an apology. Parsons was similarly evenhanded and emphasized the positive, saying, “I’m here to help turn one of the burners off under the pot, not to turn it up higher. So I think I’ll keep my personal views personal and just stay focused on what are we going to do to keep this team on the ascent as it is right now.” And in a Twitter message, Johnson wrote, “I’d rather be talking about these great NBA playoffs than Donald Sterling’s interview.” — Greg Beaubien