WASHINGTON (JTA) – Magic Johnson said Donald Sterling’s diminishment of African American charity work would not harm relations between the Jewish and black communities.
“One thing great about the African American and Jewish communities is that they have worked well together over years, and we will continue to work with the Jewish community,” the legendary Los Angeles Lakers basketball player said in an interview Tuesday with TMZ, a gossip website.
Johnson spoke to TMZ in the wake of the Los Angeles Clippers owner’s latest controversial statements.
“I think his strategy is to attack me and then also pit both communities against each other but its not going to work,” said Johnson, who is a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Sterling on May 12, in his first interview since the leaking of a taped conversation with a girlfriend in which he slanders blacks, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he should be credited for his charitable work.
“Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people,” Sterling said. “And some of the African Americans – maybe I’ll get in trouble again – they don’t want to help anybody.”
In the CNN interview, Sterling, who has been banned from the NBA for his original outburst, went on to attack Johnson for his past promiscuousness.
Sterling’s rant in the original conversation with his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, was prompted by Stiviano’s appearance in an Instagram photo with Johnson.
Johnson, who is HIV positive, has done considerable work — including in Israel — to raise awareness about AIDS.