Two of the NBA's most influential former players have reacted to the recording of racially charged comments that are allegedly by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. On Sunday, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan released a statement, and former Lakers guard Magic Johnson joined ABC's studio crew to discuss the scandal that is suddenly overshadowing the first round of the playoffs.
Donald Sterling Fallout
Johnson, after first promising on Twitter that he won't attend another Clippers game as long as Sterling is the owner, further addressed the issue on Sunday and made it clear that there's no place for Sterling in the NBA.
"(Silver's) got to come down hard," Johnson said on ABC. "He shouldn't have a team anymore. And he should stand up and say, 'I don't want to own a team any more.'
"There's no place in our society for it, there's no place in our league."
The original recording released by TMZ includes a man, which is allegedly Sterling, telling a woman to take pictures of black people off her Instagram account. Johnson is specifically named in the audio clip, and he's also included in an extended version obtained by Deadspin.
"We have made him money, but we're not welcome at the game," Johnson said Sunday on NBA Countdown. "We can't get over that. That's why we're upset."
Jordan's tone in his press statement was similar:
I look at this from two perspectives – as a current owner and a former player. As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly. As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA - or anywhere else - for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed. I am appalled that this type of ignorance still exists within our country and at the highest levels of our sport. In a league where the majority of players are African-American, we cannot and must not tolerate discrimination at any level.
Commissioner Adam Silver and the league are investigating the matter and hope to have a conclusion in a few days.